Information transport in communication limited swarms

James S Wilson, Sabine Hauert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Users and operators of swarms will, in the future, need to monitor the operations of swarms in a distributed way, without explicitly tracking every agent, and without the need for significant infrastructure or set up. Here we present a method for swarm self-monitoring that enables the aggregate display of information about swarm location by making use of physical transport of information and local communication. This method uses movement already exhibited by many swarms to collect self-reflective information in a fully distributed manner. We find that added swarm mobility can compensate for limited communication and that our self-monitoring swarm system scales well, with performance increasing with the size of the swarm in some cases. When developing systems such as this for real-world applications, individual agent memory will need to be taken into consideration, finding an effective means to spread swarm knowledge among robots while keeping information accessible to users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-639
Number of pages8
JournalArtificial Life and Robotics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the UKRI’s Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Node in Functionality under Grant number EP/V026518/1. This work was presented in part at the joint symposium of the 27th International Symposium on Artificial Life and Robotics, the 7th International Symposium on BioComplexity, and the 5th International Symposium on Swarm Behavior and Bio-Inspired Robotics (Online, January 25–27, 2022).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


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