Gathering of asynchronous robots with limited visibility


In this paper we study the problem of gathering in the same location of the plane a collection of identical oblivious mobile robots. Previous investigations have focused mostly on the unlimited visibility setting, where each robot can always see all the other ones, regardless of their distance. In the more difficult and realistic setting where the robots have limited visibility, the existing algorithmic results are only for convergence (towards a common point, without ever reaching it) and only for synchronous environments, where robots’ movements are assumed to be performed instantaneously. In contrast, we study this problem in a totally asynchronous setting, where robots’ actions, computations, and movements require a finite but otherwise unpredictable amount of time. We present a protocol that allows anonymous oblivious robots with limited visibility to gather in the same location in finite time, provided they have orientation (i.e., agreement on a coordinate system). Our result indicates that, with respect to gathering, orientation is at least as powerful as instantaneous movements.

DOI: 10.1016/j.tcs.2005.01.001

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@article{Flocchini2005GatheringOA, title={Gathering of asynchronous robots with limited visibility}, author={Paola Flocchini and Giuseppe Prencipe and Nicola Santoro and Peter Widmayer}, journal={Theor. Comput. Sci.}, year={2005}, volume={337}, pages={147-168} }