Distributed colony-level algorithm switching for robot swarm foraging

Nicholas Hoff, Robert Wood, Radhika Nagpal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

33 Scopus citations


Swarm robotics utilizes a large number of simple robots to accomplish a task, instead of a single complex robot. Communications constraints often force these systems to be distributed and leaderless, placing restrictions on the types of algorithms which can be executed by the swarm. The performance of a swarm algorithm is affected by the environment in which the swarm operates. Different environments may call for different algorithms to be chosen, but often no single robot has enough information to make this decision. In this paper, we focus on foraging as a multi-robot task and present two distributed foraging algorithms, each of which performs best for different food locations. We then present a third adaptive algorithm in which the swarm as a whole is able to choose the best algorithm for the given situation by combining individual-level and distributed colony-level algorithm switching. We show that this adaptive method combines the benefits of the other methods, and yields the best overall performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDistributed Autonomous Robotic Systems - The 10th International Symposium, DARS 2010
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event10th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems, DARS 2010 - Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: Nov 1 2010Nov 3 2010

Publication series

NameSpringer Tracts in Advanced Robotics
Volume83 STAR
ISSN (Print)1610-7438
ISSN (Electronic)1610-742X


Conference10th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems, DARS 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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