A computer program for scheduling the activities of multiple agents that share limited resources has been incorporated into the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) software system, aspects of which have been reported in several previous NASA Tech Briefs articles. In the original intended application, the agents would be multiple spacecraft and/or robotic vehicles engaged in scientific exploration of distant planets. The program could also be used on Earth in such diverse settings as production lines and military maneuvers.
This program includes a planning/scheduling subprogram of the iterative repair type that reasons about the activities of multiple agents at abstract levels in order to greatly improve the scheduling of their use of shared resources. The program summarizes the information about the constraints on, and resource requirements of, abstract activities on the basis of the constraints and requirements that pertain to their potential refinements (decomposition into less-abstract and ultimately to primitive activities). The advantage of reasoning about summary information is that time needed to find consistent schedules is exponentially smaller than the time that would be needed for reasoning about the same tasks at the primitive level.
This program was written by Bradley Clement, Anthony Barrett, Gregg Rabideau, and Russell Knight for Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Don Hart of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393- 3425. Refer to NPO-30340.