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Supervisory control theory applied to swarm robotics

Lopes, Y.K., Trenkwalder, S.M., Leal, A.B., DODD, Tony and Gross, R. (2016) Supervisory control theory applied to swarm robotics. SWARM INTELLIGENCE, 10 (1). pp. 65-97. ISSN 1935-3812

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Abstract or description

Currently, the control software of swarm robotics systems is created by ad hoc development. This makes it hard to deploy these systems in real-world scenarios. In particular, it is difficult to maintain, analyse, or verify the systems. Formal methods can contribute to overcome these problems. However, they usually do not guarantee that the implementation matches the specification, because the system?s control code is typically generated manually. Also, there is cultural resistance to apply formal methods; they may be perceived as an additional step that does not add value to the final product. To address these problems, we propose supervisory control theory for the domain of swarm robotics. The advantages of supervisory control theory, and its associated tools, are a reduction in the amount of ad hoc development, the automatic generation of control code from modelled specifications, proofs of properties over generated control code, and the reusability of formally designed controllers between different robotic platforms. These advantages are demonstrated in four case studies using the e-puck and Kilobot robot platforms. Experiments with up to 600 physical robots are reported, which show that supervisory control theory can be used to formally develop state-of-the-art solutions to a range of problems in swarm robotics.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2016 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Supervisory control theory; Swarm robotics; Formal methods; Kilobot; e-puck; Automatic code generation
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Engineering
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2020 15:06
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:58

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