A New Metric for the Analysis of Swarms using Potential Fields

Eliot, Neil, Kendall, David and Brockway, Michael (2018) A New Metric for the Analysis of Swarms using Potential Fields. IEEE Access, 6. pp. 63258-63267. ISSN 2169-3536

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2018.2877421


There are many metrics defined for the analysis of swarm coordination algorithms. These metrics are usually based upon the distances between agents, the distance between agents and a fixed point, or the resultant vectors that potential field effects produce. This paper examines a distance-based metric that measures a swarm’s overall structure using inter-agent distances. More importantly, it introduces a new metric that identifies a swarm’s state based upon the resultant magnitude of the vectors produced by the agent interactions that create the agent distribution within the swarm’s structure. The algorithms used to implement the swarming feature are based upon cohesion and repulsion vectors between an agent and its neighbors. In comparing and contrasting the two metrics, we find that the cohesion/repulsion metric offers a number of advantages over the distance metric. In particular, the cohesion/repulsion metric allows the identification of the essential characteristic of a swarm as “expanding,” “stable,” or “contracting.” These states cannot be identified using a distance-based metric. Practical swarming applications where the new metric can be applied advantageously include area-filling and reconnaissance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Swarming, swarm dynamics, swarm metric
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: David Kendall
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2018 11:07
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 13:06
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/36414

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