A review and implementation of swarm pattern formation and transformation models
Varghese, B. and McKee, G. T. (2009) A review and implementation of swarm pattern formation and transformation models. International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, 2 (4). 786 - 817. ISSN 1756-378X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1108/17563780911005872
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to address a classic problem – pattern formation identified by researchers in the area of swarm robotic systems – and is also motivated by the need for mathematical foundations in swarm systems. Design/methodology/approach: The work is separated out as inspirations, applications, definitions, challenges and classifications of pattern formation in swarm systems based on recent literature. Further, the work proposes a mathematical model for swarm pattern formation and transformation. Findings: A swarm pattern formation model based on mathematical foundations and macroscopic primitives is proposed. A formal definition for swarm pattern transformation and four special cases of transformation are introduced. Two general methods for transforming patterns are investigated and a comparison of the two methods is presented. The validity of the proposed models, and the feasibility of the methods investigated are confirmed on the Traer Physics and Processing environment. Originality/value: This paper helps in understanding the limitations of existing research in pattern formation and the lack of mathematical foundations for swarm systems. The mathematical model and transformation methods introduce two key concepts, namely macroscopic primitives and a mathematical model. The exercise of implementing the proposed models on physics simulator is novel.