Reciprocity in Package Delivery


Jose M Vidal


In the package delivery problem a the agents must deliver a set of packages from a central depot. The destinations lie along one of several spokes emaniting from the central depot. The agents can exchange packages only at the depot. The cost to an agent is proportional to the number of packages carried.

The optimal solution to this problem is to choose one agent to go on each spoke and deliver all the packages scheduled for it. However, this would require completely selfless agents. In this program we study the dynamics that emerege when using different populations of selfish, philantropic, reciprocal, and individual agents behave.

These results were first presented in

  1. Sandip Sen. Reciprocity: a foundational principle for promoting cooperative behavior among self-interested agents In Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Multiagent Systems, p.322--329, AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA. 1996.

  2. Sandip Sen and Partha Sarathi Dutta. The evolution and stability of cooperative traits. In Proceedings of the First Intenational Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, pages 1114-1120. ACM Press, NY, NY, 2002.

  3. Sandip Sen. Believing others: Pros and cons. Artificial Intelligence, 142(2):179-203, December 2002.