[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, we study how a self-organized mobile robot flock can be steered toward a desired direction through externally
guiding some of its members. Specifically, we propose a behavior by extending a previously developed flocking behavior to
steer self-organized flocks in both physical and simulated mobile robots. We quantitatively measure the performance of the
proposed behavior under different parameter settings using three metrics, namely, (1) the mutual information metric, adopted
from Information Theory, to measure the information shared between the individuals during steering, (2) the accuracy metric
from directional statistics to measure the angular deviation of the direction of the flock from the desired direction, and
(3) the ratio of the largest aggregate to the whole flock and the ratio of informed individuals remaining with the largest
aggregate, as a metric of flock cohesion. We conducted a systematic set of experiments using both physical and simulated robots,
analyzed the transient and steady-state characteristics of steered flocking, and evaluate the parameter conditions under which
a swarm can be successfully steered. We show that the experimental results are qualitatively in accordance with the ones that
were predicted in Couzin etal. model (Nature, 433:513–516, 2005) and relate the quantitative differences to the differences
between the models.
Neural Computing and Applications 19(6):849-865. · 1.17 Impact Factor
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