Leading a Swarm with Signals

Nofar Menashe, Noa Agmon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

The prevalence of autonomous agents has raised the need for agents to cooperate without having the ability to coordinate their moves in advance, or communicate explicitly. This is referred to as ad-hoc teamwork. Prior work in this field has examined the possibility of leading a flock of simple, swarm-like, agents to a desired behavior that maximizes joint group utility, using informed agents that act within the flock. In this work we examine the problem of leading a flock of agents using signals. In this problem, the leading agents are equipped with a tool allowing them to send a simple signal to the flock, “calling” them to act in a desired way. However, the agents may misinterpret the signal with some probability, and head to the opposite direction. We examine the best behavior for a leading agent, that is, deciding when to signal, which depends on the signaling range of the leader, the probability of the signal misinterpretation, the sensing range of the flocking agents, and their current behavior. We extend the analysis to multiple leading agents, and show that their location within the flock also plays a role in the outcome. Finally, we examine the use of signals by leading a swarm of agents in the dispersion problem, where the team’s goal is to spread in the environment and demonstrate the limitation of signals. Specifically, we show that signals may have no influence on the performance of the swarm, even if they are perfectly interpreted.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDistributed Autonomous Robotic Systems - 15th International Symposium, 2022
EditorsFumitoshi Matsuno, Shun-ichi Azuma, Masahito Yamamoto
PublisherSpringer Nature
Pages16-30
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783030927899
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Event15th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems, DARS 2021 and 4th International Symposium on Swarm Behavior and Bio-Inspired Robotics, SWARM 2021 - Virtual Online
Duration: 1 Jun 20214 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics
Volume22 SPAR
ISSN (Print)2511-1256
ISSN (Electronic)2511-1264

Conference

Conference15th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems, DARS 2021 and 4th International Symposium on Swarm Behavior and Bio-Inspired Robotics, SWARM 2021
CityVirtual Online
Period1/06/214/06/21

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Keywords

  • Ad-hoc teamwork
  • Dispersion
  • Flocking
  • Leading a swarm
  • Signals

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