/Decentralized Method for Sub-swarm Deployment and Rejoining

Decentralized Method for Sub-swarm Deployment and Rejoining

Meghan Chandarana, Wenhao Luo, Michael Lewis, Katia Sycara and Sebastian Scherer
Conference Paper, 2018 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC), October, 2018

Download Publication (PDF)

Copyright notice: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author’s copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.


As part of swarm search and service (SSS) missions, robots are tasked with servicing jobs as they are sensed. This requires small sub-swarm teams to leave the swarm for a specified amount of time to service the jobs. In doing so, fewer robots are required to change motion than if the whole swarm were diverted, thereby minimizing the job’s overall effect on the swarm’s main goal. We explore the problem of removing the required number of robots from the swarm, while maintaining overall swarm connectivity. By preserving connectivity, robots are able to successfully rejoin the swarm upon completion of their assigned job. These robots are then made available for reallocation. We propose a decentralized and asynchronous method for breaking off sub-swarm groups and rejoining them with the main swarm using the swarm’s communication graph topology. Both single and multiple job site cases are explored. The results are compared against a full swarm movement method. Simulation results show that the proposed method outperforms a full swarm method in the average number of messages sent per robot in each step, as well as, the distance traveled by the swarm.

BibTeX Reference
author = {Meghan Chandarana and Wenhao Luo and Michael Lewis and Katia Sycara and Sebastian Scherer},
title = {Decentralized Method for Sub-swarm Deployment and Rejoining},
booktitle = {2018 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC)},
year = {2018},
month = {October},