Sensing-based shape formation on modular multi-robot systems: A theoretical study

Chih Han Yu, Radhika Nagpal

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

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents a theoretical study of decentralized control for sensing-based shape formation on modular multi-robot systems, where the desired shape is specified in terms of local sensor constraints between neighboring robot agents. We show that this problem can be formulated more generally as distributed constraint-maintenance on a networked multi-agent system. It is strongly related to a class of multi-agent algorithms called distributed consensus, which includes several bio-inspired algorithms such as flocking and firefly synchronization. By exploiting this connection, we can theoretically analyze several important aspects of the decentralized shape formation algorithm and generalize it to more complex multi-agent scenarios. We show that the convergence time depends on (a) the number of robot agents and agent connection topology, (b) the complexity of the user-specified goal, and (c) the initial state of the robots. Using these results, we can provide precise statements on how the approach scales, and how quickly the system can adapt to perturbations. These results provide a deeper understanding of the contrast between centralized and decentralized multi-agent algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication7th International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2008
PublisherInternational Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (IFAAMAS)
Pages72-79
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781605604701
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2008 - Estoril, Portugal
Duration: May 12 2008May 16 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS
Volume1
ISSN (Print)1548-8403
ISSN (Electronic)1558-2914

Conference

Conference7th International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2008
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityEstoril
Period5/12/085/16/08

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering

Keywords

  • Collective dynamics
  • Convergence
  • Decentralized control
  • Graph laplacian
  • Modular robot
  • Shape formation

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