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Information flow principles for plasticity in foraging robot swarms

Information flow principles for plasticity in foraging robot swarms
Information flow principles for plasticity in foraging robot swarms
An important characteristic of a robot swarm that must operate in the real world is the ability to cope with changeable environments by exhibiting behavioural plasticity at the collective level. For example, a swarm of foraging robots should be able to repeatedly reorganise in order to exploit resource deposits that appear intermittently in different locations throughout their environment. In this paper, we report on simulation experiments with homogeneous foraging robot teams and show that analysing swarm behaviour in terms of information flow can help us to identify whether a particular behavioural strategy is likely to exhibit useful swarm plasticity in response to dynamic environments. While it is beneficial to maximise the rate at which robots share information when they make collective decisions in a static environment, plastic swarm behaviour in changeable environments requires regulated information transfer in order to achieve a balance between the exploitation of existing information and exploration leading to acquisition of new information. We give examples of how information flow analysis can help designers to decide on robot control strategies with relevance to a number of applications explored in the swarm robotics literature.
swarm robotics, foraging, communcation, self-organisation, plasticity
1935-3812
33-63
Pitonakova, Lenka
ef806152-a9c0-4075-806d-c75f0d3f7bbb
Crowder, Richard
ddeb646d-cc9e-487b-bd84-e1726d3ac023
Bullock, Seth
2ad576e4-56b8-4f31-84e0-51bd0b7a1cd3
Pitonakova, Lenka
ef806152-a9c0-4075-806d-c75f0d3f7bbb
Crowder, Richard
ddeb646d-cc9e-487b-bd84-e1726d3ac023
Bullock, Seth
2ad576e4-56b8-4f31-84e0-51bd0b7a1cd3

Pitonakova, Lenka, Crowder, Richard and Bullock, Seth (2016) Information flow principles for plasticity in foraging robot swarms. Swarm Intelligence, 10 (1), 33-63. (doi:10.1007/s11721-016-0118-1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

An important characteristic of a robot swarm that must operate in the real world is the ability to cope with changeable environments by exhibiting behavioural plasticity at the collective level. For example, a swarm of foraging robots should be able to repeatedly reorganise in order to exploit resource deposits that appear intermittently in different locations throughout their environment. In this paper, we report on simulation experiments with homogeneous foraging robot teams and show that analysing swarm behaviour in terms of information flow can help us to identify whether a particular behavioural strategy is likely to exhibit useful swarm plasticity in response to dynamic environments. While it is beneficial to maximise the rate at which robots share information when they make collective decisions in a static environment, plastic swarm behaviour in changeable environments requires regulated information transfer in order to achieve a balance between the exploitation of existing information and exploration leading to acquisition of new information. We give examples of how information flow analysis can help designers to decide on robot control strategies with relevance to a number of applications explored in the swarm robotics literature.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 6 January 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 February 2016
Published date: March 2016
Keywords: swarm robotics, foraging, communcation, self-organisation, plasticity
Organisations: Electronics & Computer Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 387376
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/387376
ISSN: 1935-3812
PURE UUID: ac808e3f-9f17-4ec8-b740-9df3647c8dcd
ORCID for Lenka Pitonakova: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3633-7302

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Feb 2016 10:25
Last modified: 16 Dec 2019 20:06

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Contributors

Author: Lenka Pitonakova ORCID iD
Author: Richard Crowder
Author: Seth Bullock

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