Learning to Schedule Deadline- and Operator-Sensitive Tasks

Hanan Rosemarin, John P. Dickerson, Sarit Kraus

The use of semi-autonomous and autonomous robotic assistants to aid in care of the elderly is expected to ease the burden on human caretakers, with small-stage testing already occurring in a variety of countries. Yet, it is likely that these robots will need to request human assistance via teleoperation when domain expertise is needed for a specific task. As deployment of robotic assistants moves to scale, mapping these requests for human aid to the teleoperators themselves will be a difficult online optimization problem. In this paper, we design a system that allocates requests to a limited number of teleoperators, each with different specialities, in an online fashion. We generalize a recent model of online job scheduling with a worst-case competitive-ratio bound to our setting. Next, we design a scalable machine-learning-based teleoperator-aware task scheduling algorithm and show, experimentally, that it performs well when compared to an omniscient optimal scheduling algorithm.

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