The 7th IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles 2010

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A Decentralized, Harmonic, Potential Field-based Controller for Steering Dynamic Agents in a Cluttered Environment

Ahmad A. Masoud
Saudi Arabia

In this paper a separation maintenance controller is developed for continuously steering a purposive, dynamic group of mobile agents
away from each other in a confined, cluttered environment. The controller allows conflict-free, simultaneous use of space by the agents. It has a decentralized form that is constructed in conformity with the artificial life approach to behavior synthesis. The G-type control action used individually by the agents to govern their motion (also known as the control protocol) is extracted from a harmonic potential field. The overall controller governing the group (P-type control) has a decentralized, selforganizing, asynchronous nature with a computational effort that linearly grows with the number of agents. The capabilities of the controller are demonstrated by simulation. Proofs that the agents can avoid self and environment collision as well as converge to their targets are provided.


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