Swarm robotics search & rescue: A novel artificial intelligence-inspired optimization approach

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Journal Article
Applied Soft Computing Journal, 2017, 57 pp. 708 - 726
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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. In this paper, a novel heuristic algorithm is proposed to solve continuous non-linear optimization problems. The presented algorithm is a collective global search inspired by the swarm artificial intelligent of coordinated robots. Cooperative recognition and sensing by a swarm of mobile robots have been fundamental inspirations for development of Swarm Robotics Search & Rescue (SRSR). Swarm robotics is an approach with the aim of coordinating multi-robot systems which consist of numbers of mostly uniform simple physical robots. The ultimate aim is to emerge an eligible cooperative behavior either from interactions of autonomous robots with the environment or their mutual interactions between each other. In this algorithm, robots which represent initial solutions in SRSR terminology have a sense of environment to detect victim in a search & rescue mission at a disaster site. In fact, victim's location refers to global best solution in SRSR algorithm. The individual with the highest rank in the swarm is called master and remaining robots will play role of slaves. However, this leadership and master position can be transitioned from one robot to another one during mission. Having the supervision of master robot accompanied with abilities of slave robots for sensing the environment, this collaborative search assists the swarm to rapidly find the location of victim and subsequently a successful mission. In order to validate effectiveness and optimality of proposed algorithm, it has been applied on several standard benchmark functions and a practical electric power system problem in several real size cases. Finally, simulation results have been compared with those of some well-known algorithms. Comparison of results demonstrates superiority of presented algorithm in terms of quality solutions and convergence speed.
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