Towards Swarm Calculus: Universal Properties of Swarm Performance and Collective Decisions

Heiko Hamann
ANTS 2012 LNCS 7461 (2012), 168-179


  The search for generally applicable methods in swarm intelligence
  aims to gain new insights about natural swarms and to develop design
  methodologies for artificial swarms. The ideal would be a `swarm
  calculus' that allows to calculate key features such as expected
  swarm performance and robustness on the basis of a few
  parameters. A path towards this ideal is to find methods and models
  that have maximal generality. We report two models that might be
  examples of exceptional generality. First, we present an abstract
  model that describes the performance of a swarm depending on the
  swarm density based on the dichotomy between cooperation and
  interference. Second, we give an abstract model for decision making
  that is inspired by urn models. A parameter, that controls the
  feedback based on the current consensus, allows to understand the
  effects of an increasing probability for positive feedback over time
  in a decision making system.

Download PDF: