This project investigates the use of pheromones (inspired from
ant colonies) for inter-agent communication. While foraging,
ants and termites use pheromones to mark the trails to food
locations and to recruit other ants into foraging from
specific locations. Similarly, agents in simulation (or,
why not!, controlling real robots) can mark the environment in
order to store information about past experiences and to
also share this knowledge with peer agents.
A first problem domain of interest concerns foraging, where
the task consists of locating a source of food and carrying
as many food items as possible to the original location (nest)
. Our approach allows for the presence of obstacles in the
initially unknown terrain. We envision taking this project
further by allowing agents to specialize for specific tasks
such as patrolling, nest and trail defense, scouting or
carrying. We also already started experimenting with learning
approaches (Evolutionary Computation!) for the emergent
Most of the work on this project has been done in the new
MASON system; learning approaches
were implemented in the ECJ system.
For more information on the project, please visit the unofficial
homepage of the project, or send me an email.