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Journal cover: International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics

International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics

ISSN: 1756-378X

Online from: 2008

Subject Area: Electrical & Electronic Engineering

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Real-time, decentralized and bio-inspired topology control for holonomic autonomous vehicles

Document Information:
Title:Real-time, decentralized and bio-inspired topology control for holonomic autonomous vehicles
Author(s):Cem Safak Sahin, (Advanced Information Technologies, BAE Systems, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA), M. Ümit Uyar, (Department of Electrical Engineering, The City College of The City University of New York, New York, USA)
Citation:Cem Safak Sahin, M. Ümit Uyar, (2012) "Real-time, decentralized and bio-inspired topology control for holonomic autonomous vehicles", International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, Vol. 5 Iss: 3, pp.359 - 380
Keywords:Analytical model, Bio-inspired algorithm, Genetic algorithms, Mobile ad hoc networks, Mobile networks, Spatial node distribution, Topology control
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/17563781211255899 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – This paper aims to present an approach for a bio-inspired decentralization topology control mechanism, called force-based genetic algorithm (FGA), where a genetic algorithm (GA) is run by each holonomic autonomous vehicle (HAV) in a mobile ad hoc network (MANET) as software agent to achieve a uniform spread of HAVs and to provide a fully connected network over an unknown geographical terrain. An HAV runs its own FGA to decide its next movement direction and speed based on local neighborhood information, such as obstacles and the number of neighbors, without a centralized control unit or global knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach – The objective function used in FGA is inspired by the equilibrium of the molecules in physics where each molecule tries to be in the balanced position to spend minimum energy to maintain its position. In this approach, a virtual force is assumed to be applied by the neighboring HAVs to a given HAV. At equilibrium, the aggregate virtual force applied to an HAV by its neighbors should sum up to zero. If the aggregate virtual force is not zero, it is used as a fitness value for the HAV. The value of this virtual force depends on the number of neighbors within the communication range of Rcom and the distance among them. Each chromosome in our GA-based framework is composed of speed and movement direction. The FGA is independently run by each HAV as a topology control mechanism and only utilizes information from neighbors and local terrain to make movement and speed decisions to converge towards a uniform distribution of HAVs. The authors developed an analytical model, simulation software and several testbeds to study the convergence properties of the FGA.

Findings – The paper finds that coverage-centric, bio-inspired, mobile node deployment algorithm ensures effective sensing coverage for each mobile node after initial deployment. The FGA is also an energy-aware self-organization framework since it reduces energy consumption by eliminating unnecessary excessive movements. Fault-tolerance is another important feature of the GA-based approach since the FGA is resilient to losses and malfunctions of HAVs. Furthermore, the analytical results show that the authors' bio-inspired approach is effective in terms of convergence speed and area coverage uniformity. As seen from the experimental results, the FGA delivers promising results for uniform autonomous mobile node distribution over an unknown geographical terrain.

Originality/value – The proposed decentralized and bio-inspired approach for autonomous mobile nodes can be used as a real-time topology control mechanism for commercial and military applications since it adapts to local environment rapidly but does not require global network knowledge.

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