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Leadership emergence within a heterogeneous autonomous multi-agent system

Pronk, J.R. (2016) Leadership emergence within a heterogeneous autonomous multi-agent system. Master's Thesis / Essay, Industrial Engineering and Management.

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Multi-agent robotic systems have been known for a long time, but are gaining popularity due to technological development. This enables such systems to carry out tasks autonomously which required human interaction in the past. Tasks can range from surveillance to search and rescue missions. Coordinating movement of such autonomous systems requires a strategy that makes decisions based on the available information. Research has shown that groups with leaders are more effective than groups without. However, there is still a lack of knowledge in optimal leadership selection. To cope with this problem, scientists and engineers have been inspired by social animal groups which use experience to promote leaders. A distinction can be made between a homogeneous system and a heterogeneous system, meaning a system in which all agents are equal or all agents are not equal, respectively. Some methods for homogeneous leadership emergence have been identified and discussed in literature, but there is an absence in research towards heterogeneous groups. The presented research will investigate if there are any performance differences between using homogeneous and heterogeneous setups. This will be achieved by creating a numerical model, which is used for testing and analyzing performance of the systems. Moreover, an attempt is made to recreate the discussed method in a small scale, real-world environment using e-puck robots. The results of this research indicate that heterogeneous setups can outperform homogeneous setups. However, to come to these results, several assumptions and simplifications have been made for this research. Thus, this research should only serve as an indication and as a base for future research, which will require much more investigation into specifics.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Industrial Engineering and Management
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:14
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:14

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