Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Industrial and Systems Engineering and Engineering Management

Committee Chair

Phillip Farrington

Committee Member

Gillian Nicholls

Committee Member

James Swain

Committee Member

Sampson Gholston

Committee Member

Brian Landrum


Drone aircraft--Automatic control., Guidance systems (Flight), Remotely piloted vehicles.


Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly deployed in complex and dynamic environments to perform multiple tasks cooperatively with other UAVs that contribute to overarching mission effectiveness. Studies by the Department of Defense (DoD) indicate future operations may include anti-access/area-denial (A2AD) environments which limit human teleoperator decision-making and control. This research addresses the problem of decentralized vehicle re-routing and task reassignments through consensus-based UAV decision-making. An Integrated Consensus-Based Framework (ICF) is formulated as a solution to the combined single task assignment problem and vehicle routing problem. The multiple assignment and vehicle routing problem is solved with the Integrated Consensus-Based Bundle Framework (ICBF). The frameworks are hierarchically decomposed into two levels. The bottom layer utilizes the renowned Dijkstra's Algorithm. The top layer addresses task assignment with two methods. The single assignment approach is called the Caravan Auction Algorithm (CarA) Algorithm. This technique extends the Consensus-Based Auction Algorithm (CBAA) to provide awareness for task completion by agents and adopt abandoned tasks. The multiple assignment approach called the Caravan Auction Bundle Algorithm (CarAB) extends the Consensus-Based Bundle Algorithm (CBBA) by providing awareness for lost resources, prioritizing remaining tasks, and adopting abandoned tasks. Research questions are investigated regarding the novelty and performance of the proposed frameworks. Conclusions regarding the research questions will be provided through hypothesis testing. Monte Carlo simulations will provide evidence to support conclusions regarding the research hypotheses for the proposed frameworks. The approach provided in this research addresses current and future military operations for unmanned aerial vehicles. However, the general framework implied by the proposed research is adaptable to any unmanned vehicle. Civil applications that involve missions where human observability would be limited could benefit from the independent UAV task assignment, such as exploration and fire surveillance are also notable uses for this approach.



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