Contingency Games for Multi-Agent Interaction

Lasse Peters, Andrea Bajcsy, Chih Yuan Chiu, David Fridovich-Keil, Forrest Laine, Laura Ferranti, Javier Alonso-Mora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Contingency planning, wherein an agent generates a set of possible plans conditioned on the outcome of an uncertain event, is an increasingly popular way for robots to act under uncertainty. In this work we take a game-theoretic perspective on contingency planning, tailored to multi-agent scenarios in which a robot's actions impact the decisions of other agents and vice versa. The resulting contingency game allows the robot to efficiently interact with other agents by generating strategic motion plans conditioned on multiple possible intents for other actors in the scene. Contingency games are parameterized via a scalar variable which represents a future time when intent uncertainty will be resolved. By estimating this parameter online, we construct a game-theoretic motion planner that adapts to changing beliefs while anticipating future certainty. We show that existing variants of game-theoretic planning under uncertainty are readily obtained as special cases of contingency games. Through a series of simulated autonomous driving scenarios, we demonstrate that contingency games close the gap between certainty-equivalent games that commit to a single hypothesis and non-contingent multi-hypothesis games that do not account for future uncertainty reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2208-2215
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Contingency management
  • Games
  • Human-Aware Motion Planning
  • Motion and Path Planning
  • Pedestrians
  • Planning
  • Planning under Uncertainty
  • Robots
  • Trajectory
  • Uncertainty


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