We consider the problem of collectively delivering some message from a specified source to a designated target location in a graph, using multiple mobile agents. Each agent has a limited energy which constrains the distance it can move. Hence multiple agents need to collaborate to move the message, each agent handing over the message to the next agent to carry it forward. Given the positions of the agents in the graph and their respective budgets, the problem of finding a feasible movement schedule for the agents can be challenging. We consider two variants of the problem: in non-returning delivery, the agents can stop anywhere; whereas in returning delivery, each agent needs to return to its starting location, a variant which has not been studied before. We first provide a polynomial-time algorithm for returning delivery on trees, which is in contrast to the known (weak) NP-hardness of the non-returning version. In addition, we give resource-augmented algorithms for returning delivery in general graphs. Finally, we give tight lower bounds on the required resource augmentation for both variants of the problem. In this sense, our results close the gap left by previous research.
- Pub Date:
- August 2016
- Computer Science - Data Structures and Algorithms
- 19 pages. An extended abstract of this paper was published at the 23rd International Colloquium on Structural Information and Communication Complexity 2016, SIROCCO'16