Multi-agent pathfinding: Definitions, variants, and benchmarks

Roni Stern, Nathan R. Sturtevant, Ariel Felner, Sven Koenig, Hang Ma, Thayne T. Walker, Jiaoyang Li, Dor Atzmon, Liron Cohen, T. K. Satish Kumar, Eli Boyarski, Roman Barták

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

360 Scopus citations


The Multi-Agent Pathfinding (MAPF) problem is the fundamental problem of planning paths for multiple agents, where the key constraint is that the agents will be able to follow these paths concurrently without colliding with each other. Applications of MAPF include automated warehouses and autonomous vehicles. Research on MAPF has been flourishing in the past couple of years. Different MAPF research papers make different assumptions, e.g., whether agents can traverse the same road at the same time, and have different objective functions, e.g., minimize makespan or sum of agents' actions costs. These assumptions and objectives are sometimes implicitly assumed or described informally. This makes it difficult to establish appropriate baselines for comparison in research papers, as well as making it difficult for practitioners to find the papers relevant to their concrete application. This paper aims to fill this gap and support researchers and practitioners by providing a unifying terminology for describing common MAPF assumptions and objectives. In addition, we also provide pointers to two MAPF benchmarks. In particular, we introduce a new grid-based benchmark for MAPF, and demonstrate experimentally that it poses a challenge to contemporary MAPF algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Combinatorial Search, SoCS 2019
EditorsPavel Surynek, William Yeoh
PublisherAAAI press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781577358084
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event12th International Symposium on Combinatorial Search, SoCS 2019 - Napa, United States
Duration: 16 Jul 201917 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Combinatorial Search, SoCS 2019


Conference12th International Symposium on Combinatorial Search, SoCS 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence ( All rights reserved.


This research is supported by ISF grants no. 210/17 to Roni Stern and #844/17 to Ariel Felner and Eyal Shimony, by BSF grant #2017692 and by NSF grant #1815660.

FundersFunder number
National Science Foundation1815660
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation2017692
Israel Science Foundation844/17, 210/17


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