Simultaneous Cooperative Exploration and Networking Based on Voronoi Diagrams
Egerstedt, Magnus B.
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We develop a strategy that enables multiple intelligent vehicles to cooperatively explore complex territories. Every vehicle deploys communication devices and expands an information network while constructing a topological map based on Voronoi diagrams. As the information network weaved by each vehicle grows, intersections eventually happen so that the topological maps are shared. This allows for distributed vehicles to share information with other vehicles that have also deployed communication devices. Our exploration algorithms are provably complete under mild technical assumptions. A performance analysis of the algorithms shows that in a bounded workspace, the time spent to complete the exploration decreases as the number of vehicles increases. We further provide an analytical formula for this relationship. Time efficiency of the algorithms is demonstrated in MATLAB simulation.