Safety in the Context of Coordination via Adjustable Autonomy

  • Paul Scerri
  • Katia Sycara
  • Milind Tambe
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4324)


When large heterogeneous robot and agent teams operate in the real-world, it is essential that a human operator has overall control to ensure safety. However, giving an operator the required control is difficult due to the complexity of the activities such teams engage in and the infeasibility of simply stopping the team whenever human input is required. Our approach to interaction in such a context has three key components which allow us to leverage human expertise by giving them responsibility for key coordination decisions, without risks to the coordination due to slow responses. First, to deal with the dynamic nature of the situation, we use pre-planned sequences of transfer of control actions called transfer-of-control strategies. Second, to allow identification of key coordination issues in a distributed way, individual coordination tasks are explicitly represented as coordination roles, rather than being implicitly represented within a monolithic protocol. Such a representation allows meta-reasoning about those roles to determine when human input may be useful. Third, the meta-reasoning and transfer-of-control strategies are encapsulated in a mobile agent that moves around the group to either get human input or autonomously make a decision. In this paper, we describe this approach and present initial results from interaction between a large number of UAVs and a small number of humans.


Team Member MultiAgent System Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Mobile Agent Human Expert 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Scerri
    • 1
  • Katia Sycara
    • 1
  • Milind Tambe
    • 2
  1. 1.Carnegie Mellon UniversityUSA
  2. 2.University of Southern CaliforniaUSA

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