TaxiWorld: developing and evaluating solution methods for multi-agent planning domains

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TaxiWorld is a Matlab simulation of a city with a fleet of taxis which operate within it, with the goal of transporting passengers to their destinations. The size of the

TaxiWorld is a Matlab simulation of a city with a fleet of taxis which operate within it, with the goal of transporting passengers to their destinations. The size of the city, as well as the number of available taxis and the frequency and general locations of fare appearances can all be set on a scenario-by-scenario basis. The taxis must attempt to service the fares as quickly as possible, by picking each one up and carrying it to its drop-off location. The TaxiWorld scenario is formally modeled using both Decentralized Partially-Observable Markov Decision Processes (Dec-POMDPs) and Multi-agent Markov Decision Processes (MMDPs). The purpose of developing formal models is to learn how to build and use formal Markov models, such as can be given to planners to solve for optimal policies in problem domains. However, finding optimal solutions for Dec-POMDPs is NEXP-Complete, so an empirical algorithm was also developed as an improvement to the method already in use on the simulator, and the methods were compared in identical scenarios to determine which is more effective. The empirical method is of course not optimal - rather, it attempts to simply account for some of the most important factors to achieve an acceptable level of effectiveness while still retaining a reasonable level of computational complexity for online solving.