Analysis of the Anytime MAPF Solvers Based on the Combination of Conflict-Based Search (CBS) and Focal Search (FS)
Conflict-Based Search (CBS) is a widely used algorithm for solving multi-agent pathfinding (MAPF) problems optimally. The core idea of CBS is to run hierarchical search, when, on the high level the tree of solutions candidates is explored, and on the low-level an individual planning for a specific agent subject to certain constraints) is carried out. To trade-off optimality for running time different variants
of bounded sub-optimal CBS were designed, which alter both high- and low-level search routines of CBS. Moreover, anytime variant of CBS does exist that applies Focal Search (FS) to the high-level of CBS – Anytime BCBS. However, no comprehensive analysis of how well this algorithm performs compared to the naive one, when we simply re-invoke CBS with the decreased sub-optimality bound, was present. This work aims at filling this gap. Moreover, we present and evaluate another anytime version of CBS that uses FS on both levels of CBS. Empirically, we show
that its behavior is principally different from the one demonstrated by Anytime BCBS. Finally, we compare both algorithms head-to-head and show that using Focal Search on both levels of CBS can be beneficial in a wide range of setups.