Distributed Spatial Control and Global Monitoring of Mobile Agents

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Gordon, Diana
Spears, William

In this paper, we combine two frameworks in the context of an important application. The first framework, called "artificial physics", is described in detail in a companion paper by Spears and Gordon (1999). The purpose of artificial physics is the distributed spatial control of large collections of mobile physical agents. The agents can be composed into geometric patterns (e.g., to act as a sensing grid) by having them sense and respond to local artificial forces that are motivated by natural physics laws. The purpose of the second framework is global monitoring of the agent formations developed with artificial physics. Using only limited global information, the monitor checks that the desired geometric pattern emerges over time as expected. If there is a problem, the global monitor steers the agents to self-repair. Our combined approach of local control through artificial physics, global monitoring, and "steering" for self-repair is implemented and tested on a problem where multiple agents from a hexagonal lattice pattern.

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Copyright 1999 IEEE. Reprinted from <em>Proceedings. 1999 International Conference on Information, Intelligence, and Systems</em>, November 1999, pages 681-688.<br><br> This material is posted here with permission of the IEEE. Such permission of the IEEE does not in any way imply IEEE endorsement of any of the University of Pennsylvania's products or services. Internal or personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution must be obtained from the IEEE by writing to pubs-permissions@ieee.org. By choosing to view this document, you agree to all provisions of the copyright laws protecting it.
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