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Factored Monte-Carlo tree search for coordinating UAVs in disaster response

By Chris Baker, Gopal Ramchurn, Luke Teacy and Nicholas Jennings

Abstract

The coordination of multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to carry out surveys is a major challenge for emergency responders. In particular, UAVs have to fly over kilometre-scale areas while trying to discover casualties as quickly as possible. However, an increase in the availability of real-time data about a disaster from sources such as crowd reports or satellites presents a valuable source of information to drive the planning of UAV flight paths over a space in order to discover people who are in danger. Nevertheless challenges remain when planning over the very large action spaces that result. To this end, we introduce the survivor discovery problem and present as our solution, the first example of a factored coordinated Monte Carlo tree search algorithm to perform decentralised path planning for multiple coordinated UAVs. Our evaluation against standard benchmarks show that our algorithm, Co-MCTS, is able to find more casualties faster than standard approaches by 10% or more on simulations with real-world data from the 2010 Haiti earthquake

OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:393649
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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