Tech Briefs

Coordinating Shared Activities Shared Activity

Coordination (ShAC) is a computer program for planning and scheduling the activities of an autonomous team of interacting spacecraft and exploratory robots. ShAC could also be adapted to such terrestrial uses as helping multiple factory managers work toward competing goals while sharing such common resources as floor space, raw materials, and transports. ShAC iteratively invokes the Continuous Activity Scheduling Planning Execution and Replanning (CASPER) program to replan and propagate changes to other planning programs in an effort to resolve conflicts. A domain-expert specifies which activities and parameters thereof are shared and reports the expected conditions and effects of these activities on the environment. By specifying these conditions and effects differently for each planning program, the domain-expert subprogram defines roles that each spacecraft plays in a coordinated activity. The domain-expert subprogram also specifies which planning program has scheduling control over each shared activity. ShAC enables sharing of information, consensus over the scheduling of collaborative activities, and distributed conflict resolution. As the other planning programs incorporate new goals and alter their schedules in the changing environment, ShAC continually coordinates to respond to unexpected events.

This program was written by Bradley Clement of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory . For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Software category. This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Don Hart of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393- 3425. Refer to NPO-30614.

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