Multi-function swarms are swarms that solve multiple tasks at once. For example, a quadcopter swarm could be tasked with exploring an area of interest while simultaneously functioning as ad-hoc relays. With this type of multi-function comes the challenge of handling potentially conflicting requirements simultaneously. Using the Quality-Diversity algorithm MAP-elites in combination with a suitable controller structure, a framework for automatic behavior generation in multi-function swarms is proposed. The framework is tested on a scenario with three simultaneous tasks: exploration, communication network creation and geolocation of Radio Frequency (RF) emitters. A repertoire is evolved, consisting of a wide range of controllers, or behavior primitives, with different characteristics and trade-offs in the different tasks. This repertoire enables the swarm to online transition between behaviors featuring different trade-offs of applications depending on the situational requirements. Furthermore, the effect of noise on the behavior characteristics in MAP-elites is investigated. A moderate number of re-evaluations is found to increase the robustness while keeping the computational requirements relatively low. A few selected controllers are examined, and the dynamics of transitioning between these controllers are explored. Finally, the study investigates the importance of individual sensor or controller inputs. This is done through ablation, where individual inputs are disabled and their impact on the performance of the swarm controllers is assessed and analyzed.
This item's license is: Attribution 4.0 International