There are currently two broad strategies for optimal Multi-agent Pathfinding (MAPF): (1) search-based methods, which model and solve MAPF directly, and (2) compilation-based solvers, which reduce MAPF to instances of well-known combinatorial problems, and thus, can benefit from advances in solver techniques. In this work, we present an optimal algorithm, BCP, that hybridizes both approaches using Branch-and-Cut-and-Price, a decomposition framework developed for mathematical optimization. We formalize BCP and compare it empirically against CBSH and CBSH-RM, two leading search-based solvers. Conclusive results on standard benchmarks indicate that its performance exceeds the state-of-the-art: solving more instances on smaller grids and scaling reliably to 100 or more agents on larger game maps.
(IJCAI 2019) Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence Main track. Pages 1289-1296. https://doi.org/10.24963/ijcai.2019/179