Optimizing to Satisfice: Using Optimization to Guide Users

Keywords: playbook, unmanned aerial vehicle, delegation interfaces, overconstrained missions

Abstract: We describe a delegation-based solution to the planning overconstrainedUAV missions. SIFT’s PlaybookTM approach to UAV control allows single operators to request services from multiple-UAV teams, without excessive workload, specialized training, or platform-specific ground control systems. We use the metaphor of a sports team’s playbook: a user “calls a play” for a mission, relying on the system to flesh out the details. As in a sports playbook, the user has the freedom to add specifics at will. We have integrated Playbook with Geneva Aerospace’s VACS system ground station, to control multiple, heterogeneous, rotorcraft and fixed-wing UAVs. Using PVACS, we have discovered that overconstrained missions are particularly challenging, because it is difficult for operators find appropriate ways to relax constraints. To solve this problem we have added a “best-effort” planning mode to the Playbook. Best-effort plans may be directly useful, or can be used as a guideline in relaxing constraints.

Goldman, R., Miller, C., Wu, P., Funk, H. & Meisner, J. (2005, January 18-20). Optimizing to Satisfice: Using Optimization to Guide Users. Proceedings of the American Helicopter Society’s International Specialists Meeting on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Chandler, AZ. - [PDF]