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Team Coordination

Finally, we tested the team's ability to maintain coordinated team strategies when changing formations via communication. One player was given the power to toggle the team's formation between a defensive and an offensive formation. Announcing the change only once, the rest of team had to either react to the original message, or get the news from another teammate via other communications. As described in Section 6, the <Formation-number> and <Formation-set-time> fields are used for this purpose. We ran two different experiments, each consisting of 50 formation changes. In the first, a midfielder made the changes, thus making it possible for most teammates to hear the original message. In the second experiment, fewer players heard the original message since it was sent by the goaltender from the far end of the field. Even so, the team was able to change formations in an average time of 3.4 seconds. Results are summarized in Table 7.

Table 7: The time it takes for the entire team to change team strategies when a single agent makes the decision. Even when the decision-making agent is at the edge of the field (goaltender) so that fewer than half of teammates can hear the single message indicating the switch, the team is completely coordinated after an average of 3.4 seconds.

Peter Stone
Thu Dec 17 15:26:44 EST 1998