Near-optimal anytime coalition structure generation

Talal Rahwan, Sarvapali D. Ramchurn, Viet Dung Dang, Nicholas R. Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Forming effective coalitions is a major research challenge in the field of multi-agent systems. Central to this endeavour is the problem of determining the best set of agents that should participate in a given team. To this end, in this paper, we present a novel, anytime algorithm for coalition structure generation that is faster than previous anytime algorithms designed for this purpose. Our algorithm can generate solutions that either have a tight bound from the optimal or are optimal (depending on the objective) and works by partitioning the space in terms of a small set of elements that represent structures which contain coalitions of the same size. It then performs an online heuristic search that prunes the space and only considers valid and non-redundant coalition structures. We empirically show that we are able to find solutions that are, in the worst case, 99% efficient in 0.0129% of the time to find the optimal value by the state of the art dynamic programming algorithm (for 20 agents).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - 2006
Event4th European Workshop on Multi-Agent Systems, EUMAS 2006 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: Dec 14 2006Dec 15 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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