How Many Robots? Group Size and Efficiency in Collective Search Tasks

Abstract

This paper presents a quantitative analysis of the tradeoffs between group size and efficiency in collective search tasks that considers both the timesensitive nature of search completion and the system operating cost. First, the search task is defined and a performance metric is presented that can account for all of the costs associated with the task. Next, for both random and coordinated search strategies, analytical expressions are derived that can be used to predict optimal system performance bounds given a particular task description, and the performance benefit of using coordinated search is shown to be dependent on the relative values of the different cost components. Finally, an embodied computer simulation is used to support the analytical results, suggesting that the assumptions involved in their derivation are sound.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Hayes2002HowMR, title={How Many Robots? Group Size and Efficiency in Collective Search Tasks}, author={Adam T. Hayes}, year={2002} }