The current trends in the robotics field have led to the development of large-scale swarm robot systems, which are deployed for complex missions. The robots in these systems must communicate and interact with each other and with their environment for complex task processing. A major problem for this trend is the poor task planning mechanism, which includes both task decomposition and task allocation. Task allocation means to distribute and schedule a set of tasks to be accomplished by a group of robots to minimize the cost while satisfying operational constraints. Task allocation mechanism must be run by each robot, which integrates the swarm whenever it senses a change in the environment to make sure the robot is assigned to the most appropriate task, if not, the robot should reassign itself to its nearest task. The main contribution in this thesis is to maximize the overall efficiency of the system by minimizing the total time needed to accomplish the dynamic task allocation problem. The near-optimal allocation schemes are found using a novel hybrid decentralized algorithm for a dynamic task allocation in a swarm of homogeneous robots, where the number of the tasks is more than the robots present in the system. This hybrid approach is based on both the Simulated Annealing (SA) optimization technique combined with the Discrete Particle Swarm Optimization (DPSO) technique. Also, another major contribution in this thesis is the formulation of the dynamic task allocation equations for the homogeneous swarm robotics using integer linear programming and the cost function and constraints are introduced for the given problem. Then, the DPSO and SA algorithms are developed to accomplish the task in a minimal time. Simulation is implemented using only two test cases via MATLAB. Simulation results show that PSO exhibits a smaller and more stable convergence characteristics and SA technique owns a better quality solution. Then, after developing the hybrid algorithm, which combines SA with PSO, simulation instances are extended to include fifteen more test cases with different swarm dimensions to ensure the robustness and scalability of the proposed algorithm over the traditional PSO and SA optimization techniques. Based on the simulation results, the hybrid DPSO/SA approach proves to have a higher efficiency in both small and large swarm sizes than the other traditional algorithms such as Particle Swarm Optimization technique and Simulated Annealing technique. The simulation results also demonstrate that the proposed approach can dislodge a state from a local minimum and guide it to the global minimum. Thus, the contributions of the proposed hybrid DPSO/SA algorithm involve possessing both the pros of high quality solution in SA and the fast convergence time capability in PSO. Also, a parameters' selection process for the hybrid algorithm is proposed as a further contribution in an attempt to enhance the algorithm efficiency because the heuristic optimization techniques are very sensitive to any parameter changes. In addition, Verification is performed to ensure the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm by comparing it with results of an exact solver in terms of computational time, number of iterations and quality of solution. The exact solver that is used in this research is the Hungarian algorithm. This comparison shows that the proposed algorithm gives a superior performance in almost all swarm sizes with both stable and small execution time. However, it also shows that the proposed hybrid algorithm's cost values which is the distance traveled by the robots to perform the tasks are larger than the cost values of the Hungarian algorithm but the execution time of the hybrid algorithm is much better. Finally, one last contribution in this thesis is that the proposed algorithm is implemented and extensively tested in a real experiment using a swarm of 4 robots. The robots that are used in the real experiment called Elisa-III robots.
Robotics, Control & Smart Systems Program
MS in Robotics, Control and Smart Systems
Date of Award
Online Submission Date
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Committee Member 2
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(2017).Decentralized algorithm of dynamic task allocation for a swarm of homogeneous robots [Master’s thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
AlShawi, Maha. Decentralized algorithm of dynamic task allocation for a swarm of homogeneous robots. 2017. American University in Cairo, Master's thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.