Multiple-Solution Optimization Strategy for Multirobot Task Allocation

Li Huang, Yongsheng Ding, Meng Chu Zhou, Yaoch Jin, Kuangrong Hao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Multiple solutions are often needed because of different kinds of uncertain failures in a plan execution process and scenarios for which precise mathematical models and constraints are difficult to obtain. This paper proposes an optimization strategy for multirobot task allocation (MRTA) problems and makes efforts on offering multiple solutions with same or similar quality for switching and selection. Since the mentioned problem can be regarded as a multimodal optimization one, this paper presents a niching immune-based optimization algorithm based on Softmax regression (sNIOA) to handle it. A prejudgment of population is done before entering an evaluation process to reduce the evaluation time and to avoid unnecessary computation. Furthermore, a guiding mutation (GM) operator inspired by the base pair in theory of gene mutation is introduced into sNIOA to strengthen its search ability. When a certain gene mutates, the others in the same gene group are more likely to mutate with a higher probability. Experimental results show the improvement of sNIOA on the aspect of accelerating computation speed with comparison to other heuristic algorithms. They also show the effectiveness of the proposed GM operator by comparing sNIOA with and without it. Two MRTA application cases are tested finally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8412761
Pages (from-to)4283-4294
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Guiding mutation (GM) operator
  • multimodal optimization
  • multirobot task allocation (MRTA)
  • niching immune-based optimization algorithm (NIOA)
  • softmax regression


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