E[DPOP]: Distributed Constraint Optimization under Stochastic Uncertainty using Collaborative Sampling
Many applications that require distributed optimization also include uncertainty about the problem and the optimization criteria themselves. However, current approaches to distributed optimization assume that the problem is entirely known before optimization is carried out, while approaches to optimization with uncertainty have been investigated for centralized algorithms. This paper introduces the framework of Distributed Constraint Optimization under Stochastic Uncertainty (StochDCOP), in which random variables with known probability distributions are used to model sources of uncertainty. Our main novel contribution is a distributed procedure called col laborative sampling, which we use to produce several new versions of the DPOP algorithm for StochDCOPs. We evaluate the benefits of collaborative sampling over the simple approach in which each agent samples the random variables independently. We also show that collaborative sampling can be used to implement a new, distributed version of the consensus algorithm, which is a well-known algorithm for centralized, online stochastic optimization in which the solution chosen is the one that is optimal in most cases, rather than the one that maximizes the expected utility.