Robust and Efficient Swarm Communication Topologies for Hostile Environments

by   Vipul Mann, et al.

Swarm Intelligence-based optimization techniques combine systematic exploration of the search space with information available from neighbors and rely strongly on communication among agents. These algorithms are typically employed to solve problems where the function landscape is not adequately known and there are multiple local optima that could result in premature convergence for other algorithms. Applications of such algorithms can be found in communication systems involving design of networks for efficient information dissemination to a target group, targeted drug-delivery where drug molecules search for the affected site before diffusing, and high-value target localization with a network of drones. In several of such applications, the agents face a hostile environment that can result in loss of agents during the search. Such a loss changes the communication topology of the agents and hence the information available to agents, ultimately influencing the performance of the algorithm. In this paper, we present a study of the impact of loss of agents on the performance of such algorithms as a function of the initial network configuration. We use particle swarm optimization to optimize an objective function with multiple sub-optimal regions in a hostile environment and study its performance for a range of network topologies with loss of agents. The results reveal interesting trade-offs between efficiency, robustness, and performance for different topologies that are subsequently leveraged to discover general properties of networks that maximize performance. Moreover, networks with small-world properties are seen to maximize performance under hostile conditions.


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