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Swarm-based spatial sorting

Amos, Martyn and Don, Oliver (2008) Swarm-based spatial sorting. International journal of intelligent computing and cybernetics, 1 (3). pp. 454-473. ISSN 1756-3798

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present an algorithm for spatially sorting objects into an annular structure. Design/methodology/approach – A swarm-based model that requires only stochastic agent behaviour coupled with a pheromone-inspired “attraction-repulsion” mechanism. Findings – The algorithm consistently generates high-quality annular structures, and is particularly powerful in situations where the initial configuration of objects is similar to those observed in nature. Research limitations/implications – Experimental evidence supports previous theoretical arguments about the nature and mechanism of spatial sorting by insects. Practical implications – The algorithm may find applications in distributed robotics. Originality/value – The model offers a powerful minimal algorithmic framework, and also sheds further light on the nature of attraction-repulsion algorithms and underlying natural processes.

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