The {R}obo{C}up 2013 Drop-In Player Challenges: Experiments in Ad Hoc Teamwork (2014)
As the prevalence of autonomous agents grows, so does the number of interactions between these agents. Therefore, it is desirable for these agents to be capable of banding together with previously unknown teammates towards a common goal: to collaborate without pre-coordination. While past research on ad hoc teamwork has focused mainly on theoretical treatments and empirical studies in relatively simple domains, the long-term vision has been to enable robots and other autonomous agents to exhibit the sort of flexibility and adaptability on complex tasks that people do, for example when they play games of "pick-up" basketball or soccer. This paper introduces a series of pick-up robot soccer experiments that were carried out in three different leagues at the international RoboCup competition in 2013. In all cases, agents from different labs were put on teams with no pre-coordination. This paper introduces the structure of these experiments, describes the strategies used by UT Austin Villa in each challenge, and analyzes the results. The paper's main contribution is the introduction of a new large-scale ad hoc teamwork testbed that can serve as a starting point for future experimental ad hoc teamwork research.
In Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), September 2014. Accompanying videos at

Slides (PDF)
Samuel Barrett sbarrett [at] cs utexas edu
Katie Genter katie [at] cs utexas edu
Patrick MacAlpine patmac [at] cs utexas edu
Peter Stone pstone [at] cs utexas edu