Collaboration and Shared Plans in the Open World: Studies of Ridesharing

We develop and test computational methods for guiding collaboration that demonstrate how shared plans can be created in real-world settings, where agents can be expected to have diverse and varying goals, preferences, and availabilities. The methods are motivated and evaluated in the realm of ridesharing, using GPS logs of commuting data. We consider challenges with coordination among self-interested people aimed at minimizing the cost of transportation and the impact of travel on the environment. We present planning, optimization, and payment mechanisms that provide fair and efficient solutions to the rideshare collaboration challenge. We evaluate different VCG-based payment schemes in terms of their computational efficiency, budget balance, incentive compatibility, and strategy proofness. We present the behavior and analyses provided by the ABC ridesharing prototype system. The system learns about destinations and preferences from GPS traces and calendars, and considers time, fuel, environmental, and cognitive costs. We review how ABC generates rideshare plans from hundreds of real-life GPS traces collected from a community of commuters and reflect about the promise of employing the ABC methods to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, thus reducing CO2 emissions and fuel expenditures.

Ece Kamar, Eric Horvitz