Adding Influencing Agents to a Flock (2016)
Many different animals, including birds and fish, exhibit a collective behavior known as flocking. Flocking behavior is believed by biologists to emerge from relatively simple local control rules utilized by each individual in a flock. Specifically, each individual adjusts its behavior based on the behaviors of its closest neighbors. In our work we consider the possibility of adding a small set of influencing agents, which are under our control, to a flock. Specifically, we advance existing work on adding influencing agents into a flock and begin to consider the case in which influencing agents must join a flock in motion. Following ad hoc teamwork methodology, we assume that we are given knowledge of, but no direct control over, the rest of the flock. As such, we use the influencing agents to alter the flock's behavior --- for example by encouraging all of the individuals to face the same direction or by altering the trajectory of the flock. In this paper we define several new methods for adding influencing agents into the flock and compare them against existing methods.
In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS-16), Singapore, Singapore, May 2016.

Slides (PDF)
Katie Genter Ph.D. Alumni katie [at] cs utexas edu
Peter Stone Faculty pstone [at] cs utexas edu