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Proceedings Paper

Biologically-inspired approaches for self-organization, adaptation, and collaboration of heterogeneous autonomous systems
Author(s): Marc Steinberg
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents a selective survey of theoretical and experimental progress in the development of biologicallyinspired approaches for complex surveillance and reconnaissance problems with multiple, heterogeneous autonomous systems. The focus is on approaches that may address ISR problems that can quickly become mathematically intractable or otherwise impractical to implement using traditional optimization techniques as the size and complexity of the problem is increased. These problems require dealing with complex spatiotemporal objectives and constraints at a variety of levels from motion planning to task allocation. There is also a need to ensure solutions are reliable and robust to uncertainty and communications limitations. First, the paper will provide a short introduction to the current state of relevant biological research as relates to collective animal behavior. Second, the paper will describe research on largely decentralized, reactive, or swarm approaches that have been inspired by biological phenomena such as schools of fish, flocks of birds, ant colonies, and insect swarms. Next, the paper will discuss approaches towards more complex organizational and cooperative mechanisms in team and coalition behaviors in order to provide mission coverage of large, complex areas. Relevant team behavior may be derived from recent advances in understanding of the social and cooperative behaviors used for collaboration by tens of animals with higher-level cognitive abilities such as mammals and birds. Finally, the paper will briefly discuss challenges involved in user interaction with these types of systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 May 2011
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8062, Defense Transformation and Net-Centric Systems 2011, 80620H (23 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.882605
Show Author Affiliations
Marc Steinberg, Office of Naval Research (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8062:
Defense Transformation and Net-Centric Systems 2011
Raja Suresh, Editor(s)

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