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Scheduling operator attention for Multi-Robot Control

Chien, Shih-Yi and Lewis, Michael and Mehrotra, Siddharth and Brooks, Nathan and Sycara, Katia (2012) Scheduling operator attention for Multi-Robot Control. In: 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 07 October 2012 - 12 October 2012, Vilamoura, Portugal.

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A wide class of multirobot control tasks involves operator interactions with individual robots. Where the robots' actions are independent, as for example in some foraging tasks, the operator can interact with robots sequentially in a round robin fashion. If the need for interaction can be detected by the robot through self-reflection, the robot could communicate its need for interaction to the operator. The resulting human-robot system would form a queuing system in which the operator is the server and the queue of robots requesting interaction, the jobs. As a queuing system, performance could be optimized using standard techniques, providing the operator's attention could be appropriately directed. An earlier study found that Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) performance was improved by communicating requests for interaction to the operator, however, a first-in-first-out (FIFO) aid showing a single request at a time led to poorer performance than one showing the entire (Open) queue. The current experiment compared Open-queue and FIFO conditions from the first experiment with a Priority-queue using a shortest job first (SJF) discipline known to maximize throughput. Performance in the Priority-queue condition was statistically indistinguishable from the best performance for all measures except those for missed victims where it was intermediate between FIFO (best) and Open-queue. Both of the other conditions produced poorest performance on some measures. The results suggest that operator attention can be effectively scheduled allowing the use of scheduling algorithms to improve the efficiency of HRI.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Chien, Shih-Yi
Lewis, Michael
Mehrotra, Siddharth
Brooks, Nathan
Sycara, Katia
Date: 7 October 2012
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
Publisher: IEEE
Page Range: 473 - 479
Event Title: 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
Event Dates: 07 October 2012 - 12 October 2012
Event Type: Conference
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1109/iros.2012.6386019
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Information Science
Refereed: Yes
Official URL:
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2013 15:39
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2017 12:55


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