Robotics: Science and Systems XVI

Heterogeneous Graph Attention Networks for Scalable Multi-Robot Scheduling with Temporospatial Constraints

Zheyuan Wang, Matthew Gombolay


Robot teams are increasingly being deployed in environments, such as manufacturing facilities and warehouses, to save cost and improve productivity. To efficiently coordinate multi-robot teams, fast, high-quality scheduling algorithms are essential to satisfy the temporal and spatial constraints imposed by dynamic task specification and part and robot availability. Traditional solutions include exact methods, which are intractable for large-scale problems, or application-specific heuristics, which require expert domain knowledge to develop. In this paper, we propose a novel heterogeneous graph attention network model, called ScheduleNet. By introducing robot- and proximity-specific nodes into the simple temporal network encoding temporal constraints, we obtain a heterogeneous graph structure that is nonparametric in the number of tasks, robots and task resources or locations. We show that our model is end-to-end trainable via imitation learning on small-scale problems, generalizing to large, unseen problems. Empirically, our method outperforms the existing state-of-the-art methods in a variety of testing scenarios.



    AUTHOR    = {Zheyuan Wang AND Matthew Gombolay}, 
    TITLE     = {{Heterogeneous Graph Attention Networks for Scalable Multi-Robot Scheduling with Temporospatial Constraints}}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2020}, 
    ADDRESS   = {Corvalis, Oregon, USA}, 
    MONTH     = {July}, 
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2020.XVI.094}