Ants in Parking Lots

10 years 2 months ago
Ants in Parking Lots
Ants provide an attractive metaphor for robots that "cooperate" in performing complex tasks. What, however, are the algorithmic consequences of following this metaphor? This paper is a step toward understanding the algorithmic strengths and weaknesses of ant-based computation models. We study the ability of ant-robots that are essentially mobile finite-state machines to perform a simple path-planning task called parking, within fixed, geographically constrained environments ("laboratory floors"). This task: (1) has each ant head for the nearest corner of the floor and (2) has all ants within a corner organize into a maximally compact formation. Even without using (digital analogues of) pheromones, many initial configurations of ants can park. These configurations include: (a) a single ant that starts anywhere along an edge of the floor and (b) any assemblage of ants that begins with at least two ants adjacent to one another. In contrast, a single ant on a one-dimen...
Arnold L. Rosenberg
Added 09 Nov 2010
Updated 09 Nov 2010
Type Conference
Year 2010
Authors Arnold L. Rosenberg
Comments (0)