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null (Ed.)We consider the problem of collective exploration of a known n node edgeweighted graph by k mobile agents that have limited energy but are capable of energy transfers. The agents are initially placed at an arbitrary subset of nodes in the graph, and each agent has an initial, possibly different, amount of energy. The goal of the exploration problem is for every edge in the graph to be traversed by at least one agent. The amount of energy used by an agent to travel distance x is proportional to x. In our model, the agents can share energy when colocated: when two agents meet, one can transfer part of its energy to the other. For an nnode path, we give an O(n+k) time algorithm that either nds an exploration strategy, or reports that one does not exist. For an nnode tree with l leaves, we give an O(n+lk^2) algorithm that finds an exploration strategy if one exists. Finally, for the general graph case, we show that the problem of deciding if exploration is possible by energysharing agents is NPhard, even for 3regular graphs. In addition, we show that it is always possible to find an exploration strategy if the total energy of the agents is at least twice the total weight of the edges; moreover, this is asymptotically optimal.more » « less

We consider evacuation of a group of n ≥ 2 autonomous mobile agents (or robots) from an unknown exit on an infinite line. The agents are initially placed at the origin of the line and can move with any speed up to the maximum speed 1 in any direction they wish and they all can communicate when they are colocated. However, the agents have different wireless communication abilities: while some are fully wireless and can send and receive messages at any distance, a subset of the agents are senders, they can only transmit messages wirelessly, and the rest are receivers, they can only receive messages wirelessly. The agents start at the same time and their communication abilities are known to each other from the start. Starting at the origin of the line, the goal of the agents is to collectively find a target/exit at an unknown location on the line while minimizing the evacuation time, defined as the time when the last agent reaches the target. We investigate the impact of such a mixed communication model on evacuation time on an infinite line for a group of cooperating agents. In particular, we provide evacuation algorithms and analyze the resulting competitive ratio (CR) of the evacuation time for such a group of agents. If the group has two agents of two different types, we give an optimal evacuation algorithm with competitive ratio CR = 3+2√2. If there is a single sender or fully wireless agent, and multiple receivers we prove that CR ∈ [2+√5,5], and if there are multiple senders and a single receiver or fully wireless agent, we show that CR ∈ [3,5.681319]. Any group consisting of only senders or only receivers requires competitive ratio 9, and any other combination of agents has competitive ratio 3.more » « less

Queen Daniela of Sardinia is asleep at the center of a round room at the top of the tower in her castle. She is accompanied by her faithful servant, Eva. Suddenly, they are awakened by cries of "Fire". The room is pitch black and they are disoriented. There is exactly one exit from the room somewhere along its boundary. They must find it as quickly as possible in order to save the life of the queen. It is known that with two people searching while moving at maximum speed 1 anywhere in the room, the room can be evacuated (i.e., with both people exiting) in 1 + (2 pi)/3 + sqrt{3} ~~ 4.8264 time units and this is optimal [Czyzowicz et al., DISC'14], assuming that the first person to find the exit can directly guide the other person to the exit using her voice. Somewhat surprisingly, in this paper we show that if the goal is to save the queen (possibly leaving Eva behind to die in the fire) there is a slightly better strategy. We prove that this "priority" version of evacuation can be solved in time at most 4.81854. Furthermore, we show that any strategy for saving the queen requires time at least 3 + pi/6 + sqrt{3}/2 ~~ 4.3896 in the worst case. If one or both of the queen's other servants (Biddy and/or Lili) are with her, we show that the time bounds can be improved to 3.8327 for two servants, and 3.3738 for three servants. Finally we show lower bounds for these cases of 3.6307 (two servants) and 3.2017 (three servants). The case of n >= 4 is the subject of an independent study by Queen Daniela's Royal Scientific Team.more » « less

We introduce and study a new searchtype problem with ( 𝑛+1 )robots on a disk. The searchers (robots) all start from the center of the disk, have unit speed, and can communicate wirelessly. The goal is for a distinguished robot (the queen) to reach and evacuate from an exit that is hidden on the perimeter of the disk in as little time as possible. The remaining n robots (servants) are there to facilitate the queen’s objective and are not required to reach the hidden exit. We provide upper and lower bounds for the time required to evacuate the queen. Namely, we propose an algorithm specifying the trajectories of the robots which guarantees evacuation of the queen in time always better than 2+4(\sqrt{2}1)\pi/n for 𝑛≥4 servants. We also demonstrate that for 𝑛≥4 servants the queen cannot be evacuated in time less than 2 + \pi/n + 2/n^2.more » « less