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Input Efficiency for Influencing Swarm

Amirpour Amraii, Saman and Chakraborty, Nilanjan and Lewis, Michael (2012) Input Efficiency for Influencing Swarm. In: AAAI Fall Symposium on Human Control of Bio-Inspired Swarms, Arlington, VA.

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Many cooperative control problems ranging from formation following, to rendezvous to flocking can be expressed as consensus problems. The ability of an operator to influence the development of consensus within a swarm therefore provides a basic test of the quality of human-swarm interaction (HSI). Two plausible approaches are : Direct- dictate a desired value to swarm members or Indirect- control or influence one or more swarm members relying on existing control laws to propagate that influence. Both approaches have been followed by HSI researchers. The Indirect case uses standard consensus methods where the operator exerts influence over a few robots and then the swarm reaches a consensus based on its intrinsic rules. The Direct method corresponds to flooding in which the operator directly sends the intention to a subset of the swarm and the command then propagates through the remainder of the swarm as a privileged message. In this paper we compare these two methods regarding their convergence time and properties in noisy and noiseless conditions with static and dynamic graphs. We have found that average consensus method (indirect control) converges much slower than flooding (direct) method but it has more noise tolerance in comparison with simple flooding algorithms. Also, we have found that the convergence time of the consensus method behaves erratically when the graph’s connectivity (Fiedler value) is high.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Amirpour Amraii, Saman
Chakraborty, Nilanjan
Lewis, Michael
Date: November 2012
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: AAAI Fall Symposium on Human Control of Bio-Inspired Swarms
Publisher: American Society for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
Event Title: AAAI Fall Symposium on Human Control of Bio-Inspired Swarms
Event Type: Conference
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Information Science
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 978-1-57735-593-9
Official URL:
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2013 15:59
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2017 12:55


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