Digital Pheromone Mechanisms for Coordination of Unmanned Vehicles

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H. van Dyke Parunak, Sven Brueckner, John Sauter
Cristiano Castelfranchi, W. Lewis Johnson (eds.)
1st International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent systems, pages 449-450
ACM, New York, NY, USA
15-19 July 2002

Many social insects coordinate without direct communication or complex reasoning. They deposit and sense chemicals ("pheromones") in a shared physical environment that participates actively in the system's dynamics, yielding robust adaptive coordination. Seeking such characteristics in engineered systems, we have developed a software environment that uses digital pheromones to coordinate computational agents. We apply digital pheromones to the control of air combat missions, developing several promising mechanisms for general agent coordination. This report describes pheromone-based movement control as a variety of potential-field-based methods, reviews the mechanisms we have developed, and describes their performance in several air combat scenarios.

keywordsbiomimetics, fine-grained agents, pheromones, stigmergy
origin event