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Collective Decision Making in Communication-Constrained Environments

by   Thomas G. Kelly, et al.
University of Southampton

One of the main tasks for autonomous robot swarms is to collectively decide on the best available option. Achieving that requires a high quality communication between the agents that may not be always available in a real world environment. In this paper we introduce the communication-constrained collective decision-making problem where some areas of the environment limit the agents' ability to communicate, either by reducing success rate or blocking the communication channels. We propose a decentralised algorithm for mapping environmental features for robot swarms as well as improving collective decision making in communication-limited environments without prior knowledge of the communication landscape. Our results show that making a collective aware of the communication environment can improve the speed of convergence in the presence of communication limitations, at least 3 times faster, without sacrificing accuracy.


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