Communication in Reactive Multiagent Robotic Systems
Arkin, Ronald C.
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Multiple cooperating robots are able to complete many tasks more quickly and reliably than one robot alone. Communication between the robots can multiply their capabilities and effectiveness, but to what extent? In this research, the importance of communication in robotic societies is investigated through experiments on both simulated and real robots. Performance was measured for three different types of communication for three different tasks. The levels of communication are progressively more complex and potentially more expensive to implement. For some tasks, communication can significantly improve performance, but for others inter-agent communication is apparently unnecessary. In cases where communication helps, the lowest level of communication is almost as effective as the more complex type. The bulk of these results are derived from thousands of simulations run with randomly generated initial conditions. The simulation results help determine appropriate parameters for the reactive control system which was ported for tests on Denning mobile robots.