Determining Placements of Influencing Agents in a Flock (2015)
Katie Genter and Shun Zhang and Peter Stone
Flocking is a fascinating collective behavior exhibited by many different animals including birds and fish. As understood by biologists, the overall flocking behavior emerges from relatively simple local control rules by which each individual adjusts its own trajectory based on those of its closest neighbors. We consider the possibility of adding a small set of influencing agents, that are under our control, into a flock. Specifically, in this paper we consider where in the flock to place the influencing agents that we add to the flock. Following ad hoc teamwork methodology, we assume that we are given knowledge of, but no direct control over, the rest of the flock. We use the influencing agents to alter the flock's trajectory, for instance to avoid an obstacle. We define several methodologies for placing the influencing agents into the flock, and compare them via detailed experimental results.
In Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS-15), Istanbul, Turkey, May 2015.

Slides (PDF)
Katie Genter katie [at] cs utexas edu
Peter Stone pstone [at] cs utexas edu