Information Transfer in a Flocking Robot Swarm

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  author =       "Eliseo Ferrante",
  title =        "Information Transfer in a Flocking Robot Swarm",
  school =       "Universit\'e Libre de Bruxelles",
  year =         "2013",
  address =      "Belgium",
  keywords =     "genetic algorithms, genetic programming, PSO,
                 information transfer, collective motion, statistical
                 physics, swarm robotics, real robots",
  URL =          "",
  size =         "162 pages",
  abstract =     "In this dissertation, we propose and study methods for
                 information transfer within a swarm of mobile robots
                 that coordinately move, or flock, in a common
                 direction. We define information transfer as the
                 process whereby robots share directional information in
                 order to coordinate their heading direction. We
                 identify two paradigms of information transfer:
                 explicit information transfer and implicit information

                 In explicit information transfer, directional
                 information is transferred via communication. Explicit
                 information transfer requires mobile robots equipped
                 with a a communication device. We propose novel
                 communication strategies for explicit information
                 transfer, and we perform flocking experiments in
                 different situations: with one or two desired
                 directions of motion that can be static or change over
                 time. We perform experiments in simulation and with
                 real robots. Furthermore, we show that the same
                 explicit information transfer strategies can also be
                 applied to another collective behaviour: collective
                 transport with obstacle avoidance.

                 In implicit information transfer, directional
                 information is transferred without communication. We
                 show that a simple motion control method is sufficient
                 to guarantee cohesive and aligned motion without
                 resorting to communication or elaborate sensing. We
                 analyse the motion control method for its capability to
                 achieve flocking with and without a desired direction
                 of motion, both in simulation and using real robots.
                 Furthermore, to better understand its underlying
                 mechanism, we study this method using tools of
                 statistical physics, showing that the process can be
                 explained in terms of non-linear elasticity and
                 energy-cascading dynamics.",
  notes =        "Supervisor Marco Dorigo. in english",

Genetic Programming entries for Eliseo Ferrante