skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, May 23 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, May 24 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: Anisotropic flocking control of distributed multi-agent systems using fluid abstraction
This paper presents a multi-agent flocking scheme for real-time control of homogeneous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) based on smoothed particle hydrodynamics. Swarm cohe- sion, collision avoidance, and velocity consensus are concurrently satisfied by characterizing the emerging macroscopic flock as a continuous fluid. Two vital implementation issues are addressed in particular including latency in information fusion and directionality of com- munication due to antenna patterns. Symmetric control forces are achieved by meticulous scheduling of inter-vehicle communication to sustain the motion stability of the flock. A gener- alized, anisotropic smoothing kernel that takes into account the relative position and attitude between agents is adopted to address potential flocking instability introduced by communi- cation anisotropy due to the antenna radiation pattern. The feasibility of the technique is demonstrated experimentally using a single UAV avoiding a virtual obstacle.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1638034
NSF-PAR ID:
10112919
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the AIAA Information Systems-AIAA Infotech @ Aerospace
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    Multiagent coordination is highly desirable with many uses in a variety of tasks. In nature, the phenomenon of coordinated flocking is highly common with applications related to defending or escaping from predators. In this article, a hybrid multiagent system that integrates consensus, cooperative learning, and flocking control to determine the direction of attacking predators and learns to flock away from them in a coordinated manner is proposed. This system is entirely distributed requiring only communication between neighboring agents. The fusion of consensus and collaborative reinforcement learning allows agents to cooperatively learn in a variety of multiagent coordination tasks, but this article focuses on flocking away from attacking predators. The results of the flocking show that the agents are able to effectively flock to a target without collision with each other or obstacles. Multiple reinforcement learning methods are evaluated for the task with cooperative learning utilizing function approximation for state-space reduction performing the best. The results of the proposed consensus algorithm show that it provides quick and accurate transmission of information between agents in the flock. Simulations are conducted to show and validate the proposed hybrid system in both one and two predator environments, resulting in an efficient cooperative learning behavior. In the future, the system of using consensus to determine the state and reinforcement learning to learn the states can be applied to additional multiagent tasks. 
    more » « less
  2. We introduce the concept of Distributed Model Predictive Control (DMPC) with Acceleration-Weighted Neighborhooding (AWN) in order to synthesize a distributed and symmetric controller for high-speed flocking maneuvers (angular turns in general). Acceleration-Weighted Neighborhooding exploits the imbalance in agent accelerations during a turning maneuver to ensure that actively turning agents are prioritized. We show that with our approach, a flocking maneuver can be achieved without it being a global objective. Only a small subset of the agents, called initiators, need to be aware of the maneuver objective. Our AWN-DMPC controller ensures this local information is propagated throughout the flock in a scale-free manner with linear delays. Our experimental evaluation conclusively demonstrates the maneuvering capabilities of a distributed flocking controller based on AWN-DMPC. 
    more » « less
  3. Streaming of live 360-degree video allows users to follow a live event from any view point and has already been deployed on some commercial platforms. However, the current systems can only stream the video at relatively low-quality because the entire 360-degree video is delivered to the users under limited bandwidth. In this paper, we propose to use the idea of "flocking" to improve the performance of both prediction of field of view (FoV) and caching on the edge servers for live 360-degree video streaming. By assigning variable playback latencies to all the users in a streaming session, a "streaming flock" is formed and led by low latency users in the front of the flock. We propose a collaborative FoV prediction scheme where the actual FoV information of users in the front of the flock are utilized to predict of users behind them. We further propose a network condition aware flocking strategy to reduce the video freeze and increase the chance for collaborative FoV prediction on all users. Flocking also facilitates caching as video tiles downloaded by the front users can be cached by an edge server to serve the users at the back of the flock, thereby reducing the traffic in the core network. We propose a latency-FoV based caching strategy and investigate the potential gain of applying transcoding on the edge server. We conduct experiments using real-world user FoV traces and WiGig network bandwidth traces to evaluate the gains of the proposed strategies over benchmarks. Our experimental results demonstrate that the proposed streaming system can roughly double the effective video rate, which is the video rate inside a user's actual FoV, compared to the prediction only based on the user's own past FoV trajectory, while reducing video freeze. Furthermore, edge caching can reduce the traffic in the core network by about 80%, which can be increased to 90% with transcoding on edge server. 
    more » « less
  4. Novel conductive jute/epoxy laminated composites were fabricated by embedding carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in the matrix and flocking short carbon fibers between the laminates. A three‐dimensional electrical conductive network was generated inside the composites and the electrical resistivity values were measured using a four circumferential probe measurement system. A parametric study was performed to investigate the effect of three different weight percentages of CNTs (0%, 0.025% and 0.1%), two different carbon fiber lengths (150µm and 350µm), four different carbon fiber flock densities (500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 fibers/mm2) and two different laminates' orientations ((0‐0‐0‐0)Tand (0‐90‐0‐90)T) on the resistivity values of the composites. Composites with the lowest resistivity value of 0.019 Ohms‐m was achieved for 0.1 wt.% of CNTs and 350µm with flock density of 2000 fibers/mm2for ((0‐0‐0‐0)Tlaminate orientation. The increase in flock length from 150µm to 350µm significantly decreased the resistivity by several orders because 350µm generated better conductive network with neighbouring carbon fibers as well as with CNTs. The flock density of carbon fibers has a dominant effect on 150µm long fibers compared to 350µm when the flock density increased from 1000 fibers/mm2to 1500 fibers/mm2. Variation of both CNTs weight percentage and laminate orientation did not have significant effect on change in resistivity. The electrical measurement investigation of these novel conductive natural fiber composites will have applications in in‐situ damage sensing and structural health monitoring. POLYM. COMPOS., 40:E1189–E1198, 2019. © 2018 Society of Plastics Engineers

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Avian mixed-species flocks are ubiquitous across habitats and a model for studying how heterospecific sociality influences the behavior and composition of animal communities. Here, we review the literature on mixed-species flocks and argue that a renewed focus on individual-level interactions among flock members can transform our understanding of this iconic, avian social system. Specifically, we suggest that an individual perspective will further our understanding of (1) how inter- and intraspecific variation in flock participation links to fitness costs and benefits, (2) the implications of familiarity between individuals in structuring mixed-species flock communities, and (3) how social roles within mixed-species flocks are related to social behavior within and across species. We summarize studies that use an individual perspective in each of these areas and discuss knowledge from conspecific social behavior to posit more broadly how individuals may shape mixed-species flocks. We encourage research approaches that incorporate individual variation in traits, relationships, and social roles in their assessment of mixed-species flocking dynamics. We propose that the analysis of individual variation in behavior will be particularly important for explicitly identifying fitness outcomes that led to the evolution of mixed-species flocks, which in turn affect community structure and resilience.

     
    more » « less