Effects of Congestion on Swarm Performance and Autonomous Specialization in Robotic Swarms
Motoaki Hiraga and Kazuhiro Ohkura
1-4-1 Kagamiyama, Higashi-hiroshima, Hiroshima 739-8527, Japan
This paper focuses on the effect of congestion on swarm performance by considering the number of robots and their size. Swarm robotics is the study of a large group of autonomous robots from which collective behavior emerges without reliance on any centralized control. Due to the fact that robotic swarms are composed of a large number of robots, it is important to consider the congestion among them. However, only a few studies have focused on the relationship between the congestion and the performance of robotic swarms; moreover, these studies only discuss the effect of the number of robots. In this study, experiments were conducted by computer simulation and carried out by varying both the number of robots and the size of the robots in a path formation task. The robot controller was designed with an evolutionary robotics approach. The results show that not only the number of robots but also their size are essential features in the relationship between congestion and swarm performance. In addition, autonomous specialization within the robotic swarm emerged in situations with moderate congestion.
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