Dynamics of pursuit and evasion in a heterogeneous herd

William Scott, Naomi Ehrich Leonard

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

16 Scopus citations


We propose and analyze a dynamic model of pursuit and evasion on the plane with a single pursuer and a heterogeneous group of evaders. Heterogeneity in the group of evaders is expressed as heterogeneity in the individual maximum speeds. The goal of the pursuer is to capture a single evader in minimum time. The goal of each individual evader is to avoid capture or else to delay capture for as long as possible. Two cases of sensing among agents are considered: global (all-to-all) sensing, and local (radius-limited) sensing. We present pursuer strategies for optimal target selection that achieve bounded capture time. We propose evasion strategies and prove conditions under which they guarantee capture avoidance. In the case of local sensing, our strategy of evader risk reduction leads to aggregation of the evaders where the slowest evader in a group is the only member with a risk of capture. Our results provide insight into the dynamics of aggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication53rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control,CDC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781479977468
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2014 53rd IEEE Annual Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2014 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: Dec 15 2014Dec 17 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)0743-1546
ISSN (Electronic)2576-2370


Other2014 53rd IEEE Annual Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


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