Exploration Enhanced RPSO for Collaborative Multitarget Searching of Robotic Swarms

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Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) is an excellent population-based optimization algorithm. Meanwhile, because of its inspiration source and the velocity update feature, it is also widely used in the collaborative searching tasks for swarm robotics. One of the PSO-based models for robotic swarm searching tasks is Robotic PSO (RPSO). It adds additional items for obstacle avoidance into standard PSO and has been applied to many single-target search tasks. However, due to PSO’s global optimization characteristics, it is easy to converge to a specific position in the search space and lose the ability to explore further. When faced with the problem of multitarget searching, it may become inefficient or even invalid. This paper proposes an Exploration Enhanced Robotic PSO (E2RPSO) method for multitarget searching problems for robotic swarms. The proposed method modifies the third item in the RPSO as an additional attraction term. This item not only enables the robot to avoid collisions but also guides the swarm to search unexplored regions as much as possible. This operation increases the swarm’s task-specific (top-down) diversity, making the system cover a broader search area and avoid falling into local optimums. Besides, the aggregation degree and evolution speed factors are also included in determining the inertia weight of the proposed method, which adjusts the swarm’s internal (bottom-up) diversity dynamically. The comparison results show that this method can balance the relationship between exploration and exploitation well, which has the potential to be applied to multitarget searching scenarios.

In Complexity, Hindawi