Generalized Target Assignment and Path Finding Using Answer Set Programming


  • Van Nguyen New Mexico State University
  • Philipp Obermeier University of Postdam
  • Tran Son New Mexico State University
  • Torsten Schaub Washington University in St. Louis
  • William Yeoh Washington University in St. Louis



In Multi-Agent Path Finding (MAPF), a team of agents needs to find collision-free paths from their starting locations to their respective targets. Combined Target Assignment and Path Finding (TAPF) extends MAPF by including the problem of assigning targets to agents as a precursor to the MAPF problem. A limitation of both models is their assumption that the number of agents and targets are equal, which is invalid in some applications. We address this limitation by generalizing TAPF to allow for (1) unequal number of agents and tasks; (2) tasks to have deadlines by which they must be completed; (3) ordering of groups of tasks to be completed; and (4) tasks that are composed of a sequence of checkpoints that must be visited in a specific order. Further, we model the problem using answer set programming (ASP) to show that customizing the desired variant of the problem is simple -- one only needs to choose the appropriate combination of ASP rules to enforce it. We also demonstrate experimentally that if problem specific information can be incorporated into the ASP encoding then ASP based methods can be efficient and can scale up to solve practical applications.