Smart swarms of bacteria-inspired agents with performance adaptable interactions

Adi Shklarsh, Gil Ariel, Elad Schneidman, Eshel Ben-Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Collective navigation and swarming have been studied in animal groups, such as fish schools, bird flocks, bacteria, and slime molds. Computer modeling has shown that collective behavior of simple agents can result from simple interactions between the agents, which include short range repulsion, intermediate range alignment, and long range attraction. Here we study collective navigation of bacteria-inspired smart agents in complex terrains, with adaptive interactions that depend on performance. More specifically, each agent adjusts its interactions with the other agents according to its local environment - by decreasing the peers' influence while navigating in a beneficial direction, and increasing it otherwise. We show that inclusion of such performance dependent adaptable interactions significantly improves the collective swarming performance, leading to highly efficient navigation, especially in complex terrains. Notably, to afford such adaptable interactions, each modeled agent requires only simple computational capabilities with short-term memory, which can easily be implemented in simple swarming robots.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1002177
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Smart swarms of bacteria-inspired agents with performance adaptable interactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this