Distributed task selection in multi-agent based swarms using heuristic strategies

David Miller, Prithviraj Dasgupta, Timothy Judkins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Swarm-based systems have emerged as an attractive paradigm for implementing distributed autonomous systems for various applications in commercial, military and business domains. One of the major operations in a swarm-based system is to ensure that the individual swarm units process the tasks in the environment in an efficient manner. This can be achieved using a suitable task selection mechanism that allocates the desired number of swarm units to each task while reducing inter-task latencies and communication overhead, and, ensuring adequate commitment of resources to tasks. In this paper, we describe a multi-agent based distributed task selection mechanism for swarm-based systems. We show that the distributed task selection problem is NP-complete and propose polynomial-time heuristic-based algorithms. Our simulation results show that heuristics in which each swarm unit considers both the effects of other swarm units on tasks and its own relative position to other swarm units achieve better task processing efficiency and improved distribution of swarm units over tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSwarm Robotics - 2nd International Workshop, SAB 2006
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783540715405
StatePublished - 2007
Event2nd International Workshop on Swarm Robotics, SAB 2006 - Rome, Italy
Duration: Sep 30 2006Oct 1 2006

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume4433 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference2nd International Workshop on Swarm Robotics, SAB 2006


  • Heuristics
  • Multi-agent swarming
  • Task allocation
  • Webots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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