Doctoral Thesis: Towards Learning-guided Search for Coordination of Multi-agent Transportation at Scale

Thursday, April 11
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


By: Zhongxia “Zee” Yan

Supervisor: Cathy Wu


  • Date: Thursday, April 11
  • Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Category:
  • Location: 45-500A
Additional Location Details:


Abstract: A key challenge for coordination of multi-agent systems is the combinatorial nature of the joint decision space. Despite the success and popularity of model-free learning methods in various areas of autonomy, they cannot adequately tackle large multi-agent coordination problems. My research aims to ground policy learning in well-suited search-based methods to improve solution quality and reduce planning time overhead in multi-agent transportation problems, often involving task allocation, routing, path finding, and motion planning. The implications of this work has numerous applications across fields such as robotics, logistics, and transportation, paving the way for broader deployment of learning-based methods in large-scale autonomous systems and for combinatorial decision problems in general.

Bio: Zee is a final-year Ph.D. student at MIT advised by Cathy Wu. Previously, he obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in EECS at UC Berkeley. During his PhD, he has done internships at Amazon Robotics (Movement Optimization) as well as DeepMind (AlphaZero/AlphaDev).

Committee: Cathy Wu (thesis advisor), Leslie Kaelbling, Pulkit Agrawal