Adaptive Robotic Communication using Coordination Costs

Avi Rosenfeld, Gal A. Kaminka, and Sarit Kraus

Designers of robotic groups are faced with the formidable task of creating effective coordination architectures that can plan and replan trajectories even when faced with changing environment conditions and hardware failures. Communication between robots is one mechanism that can at times be helpful in such systems, but can also create a time and energy overhead that reduces performance. In dealing with this issue, various communication schemes have been proposed ranging from centralized and localized algorithms, to non-communicative methods. In this paper we argue that using a coordination cost measure can be useful for selecting the appropriate level of communication within such groups. We show that this measure can be used to create adaptive communication methods that switch between various communication approaches. Robotic team members that implemented these approaches were able to increase their productivity in a statistically significant fashion over methods that only used one type of communication scheme.

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