Agriculture fleet vehicle routing: A decentralised and dynamic problem

Lujak, Marin, Sklar, Elizabeth I and Semet, Frederic (2021) Agriculture fleet vehicle routing: A decentralised and dynamic problem. AI Communications, 34 (1). pp. 55-71. ISSN 0921-7126

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Agriculture fleet vehicle routing: A decentralised and dynamic problem
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To date, the research on agriculture vehicles in general and Agriculture Mobile Robots (AMRs) in particular has focused on a single vehicle (robot) and its agriculture-specific capabilities. Very little work has explored the coordination of fleets of such vehicles in the daily execution of farming tasks. This is especially the case when considering overall fleet performance, its efficiency and scalability in the context of highly automated agriculture vehicles that perform tasks throughout multiple fields potentially owned by different farmers and/or enterprises. The potential impact of automating AMR fleet coordination on commercial agriculture is immense. Major conglomerates with large and heterogeneous fleets of agriculture vehicles could operate on huge land areas without human operators to effect precision farming. In this paper, we propose the Agriculture Fleet Vehicle Routing Problem (AF-VRP) which, to the best of our knowledge, differs from any other version of the Vehicle Routing Problem studied so far. We focus on the dynamic and decentralised version of this problem applicable in environments involving multiple agriculture machinery and farm owners where concepts of fairness and equity must be considered. Such a problem combines three related problems: the dynamic assignment problem, the dynamic 3-index assignment problem and the capacitated arc routing problem. We review the state-of-the-art and categorise solution approaches as centralised, distributed and decentralised, based on the underlining decision-making context. Finally, we discuss open challenges in applying distributed and decentralised coordination approaches to this problem.

Keywords:Multi-robot systems, Robotics, Agriculture
Subjects:H Engineering > H671 Robotics
Divisions:College of Science > Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology
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ID Code:43570
Deposited On:04 Feb 2021 16:37

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