Probabilistic Control of Heterogeneous Swarms Subject to Graph Temporal Logic Specifications: A Decentralized and Scalable Approach

29 Jun 2021  ·  Franck Djeumou, Zhe Xu, Murat Cubuktepe, Ufuk Topcu ·

We develop a probabilistic control algorithm, $\texttt{GTLProCo}$, for swarms of agents with heterogeneous dynamics and objectives, subject to high-level task specifications. The resulting algorithm not only achieves decentralized control of the swarm but also significantly improves scalability over state-of-the-art existing algorithms. Specifically, we study a setting in which the agents move along the nodes of a graph, and the high-level task specifications for the swarm are expressed in a recently-proposed language called graph temporal logic (GTL). By constraining the distribution of the swarm over the nodes of the graph, GTL can specify a wide range of properties, including safety, progress, and response. $\texttt{GTLProCo}$, agnostic to the number of agents comprising the swarm, controls the density distribution of the swarm in a decentralized and probabilistic manner. To this end, it synthesizes a time-varying Markov chain modeling the time evolution of the density distribution under the GTL constraints. We first identify a subset of GTL, namely reach-avoid specifications, for which we can reduce the synthesis of such a Markov chain to either linear or semi-definite programs. Then, in the general case, we formulate the synthesis of the Markov chain as a mixed-integer nonlinear program (MINLP). We exploit the structure of the problem to provide an efficient sequential mixed-integer linear programming scheme with trust regions to solve the MINLP. We empirically demonstrate that our sequential scheme is at least three orders of magnitude faster than off-the-shelf MINLP solvers and illustrate the effectiveness of $\texttt{GTLProCo}$ in several swarm scenarios.

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