Evaluative techniques offer a tremendous potential for on-line controller design. However, when the optimization space is large and the performance metric is noisy, the time needed to properly evaluate candidate solutions becomes prohibitively large and, as a consequence, the overall adaptation process becomes extremely time consuming. Distributing the adaptation process reduces the required time and increases robustness to failure of individual agents. In this paper, we analyze the role of the four algorithmic parameters that determine the total evaluation time in a distributed implementation of a Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm. For a multi-robot obstacle avoidance case study, we explore in simulation the lower boundaries of these parameters with the goal of reducing the total evaluation time so that it is feasible to implement the adaptation process within a limited amount of time determined by the robots’ energy autonomy. We show that each parameter has a different impact on the final fitness and propose some guidelines for choosing these parameters for real robot implementations.
Posted on: November 20, 2012