/Human Control of Leader-Based Swarms

Human Control of Leader-Based Swarms

Phillip Walker, Saman Amirpour Amraii, Michael Lewis, Nilanjan Chakraborty and Katia Sycara
Conference Paper, Proceedings of the Conference on System Man and Cybernetics, Manchester, UK, October, 2013

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As swarms are used in increasingly more complex scenarios, further investigation is needed to determine how to give human operators the best tools to properly influence the swarm after deployment. Previous research has focused on relaying influence from the operator to the swarm, either by broadcasting commands to the entire swarm or by influencing the swarm through the teleoperation of a leader. While these methods each have their different applications, there has been a lack of research into how the influence should be propagated through the swarm in leader-based methods. This paper focuses on two simple methods of information propagation—flooding and consensus—and compares the ability of operators to maneuver the swarm to goal points using each, both with and without sensing error. Flooding involves each robot explicitly matching the speed and direction of the leader (or matching the speed and direction of the first neighboring robot that has already done so), and consensus involves each robot matching the average speed and direction of all the neighbors it senses. We discover that the flooding method is significantly more effective, yet the consensus method has some advantages at lower speeds, and in terms of overall connectivity and cohesion of the swarm.

BibTeX Reference
author = {Phillip Walker and Saman Amirpour Amraii and Michael Lewis and Nilanjan Chakraborty and Katia Sycara},
title = {Human Control of Leader-Based Swarms},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the Conference on System Man and Cybernetics, Manchester, UK},
year = {2013},
month = {October},