# Simple strategies versus optimal schedules in multi-agent patrolling

Akitoshi Kawamura, Makoto Soejima

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Citations (Scopus)

## Abstract

Suppose that we want to patrol a fence (line segment) using k mobile agents with given speeds v1,..., vk so that every point on the fence is visited by an agent at least once in every unit time period. A simple strategy where the ith agent moves back and forth in a segment of length vi/2 patrols the length (v1 +· · ·+vk)/2, but it has been shown recently that this is not always optimal. Thus a natural question is to determine the smallest c such that a fence of length c(v1 + · · · + vk)/2 cannot be patrolled. We give an example showing c ≥ 4/3 (and conjecture that this is the best possible). We also consider a variant of this problem where we want to patrol a circle and the agents can move only clockwise. We can patrol a circle of perimeter rvr by a simple strategy where the r fastest agents move at the same speed, but it has been shown recently that this is not always optimal. We conjecture that this is not even a constant-approximation strategy. To tackle this conjecture, we relate it to what we call constant gap families. Using this relation, we give another example where the simple strategy is not optimal. We propose another variant where we want to patrol a single point under the constraint that for each i = 1,..., k, the time between two consecutive visits of agent i should be ai or longer. This problem can be reduced to the discretized version where the ai are integers and the goal is to visit the point at every integer time. It is easy to see that this discretized patrolling is impossible if 1/a1+· · ·+1/ak < 1, and that there is a simple strategy if 1/a1+· · ·+1/ak ≥ 2. Thus we are interested in the smallest c such that patrolling is always possible if 1/a1 + · · · + 1/ak ≥ c. We prove that α ≤ c < 1.546, where α = 1.264... (we conjecture that c = α). We also discuss the computational complexity of related problems.

Original language English Algorithms and Complexity - 9th International Conference, CIAC 2015, Proceedings Peter Widmayer, Vangelis Th. Paschos Springer Verlag 261-273 13 9783319181721 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-18173-8_19 Published - 2015 9th International Conference on Algorithms and Complexity, CIAC 2015 - Paris, FranceDuration: May 20 2015 → May 22 2015

### Publication series

Name Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) 9079 0302-9743 1611-3349

### Other

Other 9th International Conference on Algorithms and Complexity, CIAC 2015 France Paris 5/20/15 → 5/22/15

## All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

• Theoretical Computer Science
• Computer Science(all)