A Multiple Pheromone Communication System for Swarm Intelligence

Liu, Tian, Sun, Xuelong, Hu, Cheng , Fu, Qinbing and Yue, Shigang (2021) A Multiple Pheromone Communication System for Swarm Intelligence. IEEE Access, 9 . pp. 148721-148737. ISSN 2169-3536

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3124386

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A Multiple Pheromone Communication System for Swarm Intelligence
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Abstract

Pheromones are chemical substances essential for communication among social insects. In the application of swarm intelligence to real micro mobile robots, the deployment of a single virtual pheromone has emerged recently as a powerful real-time method for indirect communication. However, these studies usually exploit only one kind of pheromones in their task, neglecting the crucial fact that in the world of real insects, multiple pheromones play important roles in shaping stigmergic behaviours such as foraging or nest building. To explore the multiple pheromones mechanism which enable robots to solve complex collective tasks efficiently, we introduce an artificial multiple pheromone system (ColCOS$\Phi$) to support swarm intelligence research by enabling multiple robots to deploy and react to multiple pheromones simultaneously. The proposed system ColCOS$\Phi$ uses optical signals to emulate different evaporating chemical substances i.e. pheromones. These emulated pheromones are represented by trails displayed on a wide LCD display screen positioned horizontally, on which multiple miniature robots can move freely. The colour sensors beneath the robots can detect and identify lingering "pheromones" on the screen. Meanwhile, the release of any pheromone from each robot is enabled by monitoring its positional information over time with an overhead camera. No other communication methods apart from virtual pheromones are employed in this system. Two case studies have been carried out which have verified the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed system in achieving complex swarm tasks as empowered by multiple pheromones. This novel platform is a timely and powerful tool for research into swarm intelligence.

Keywords:Virtual pheromones, multiple pheromones, bio-inspired, swarm intelligence, micro mobile robots, swarm insects.
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G400 Computer Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:47447
Deposited On:15 Dec 2021 12:14

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