Friday, March 11, 2011

Self-organized positioning of mobile relays

Quadcopter from Microdrones
The Fifth International Workshop on Self-Organizing Systems (IWSOS 2011) in Karlsruhe was a great success. Helmut Lindner won the best student poster award with his work on self-organizing mobile drones.
In catastrophic scenarios, wireless communication is an important means for coordinating rescue and saving operations. However, in such situations, the standard communication infrastructure is often not available. One possibility to solve this problem would be the usage of helicopter drones as flying relay stations. For the positioning of the drones, we would have to cope with disturbances of wireless media (interference from other nets, signal fading, etc.), an unknown landscape, as well as the need to add or remove relay nodes as they need to recharge.
Simulation of movement patterns for four drones
At IWSOS 2011, Helmut Lindner presented a evolution-based algorithm for a self-organizing positioning of the drones. The ground stations are connected by multi-hop communication over drone relays. For each possible route a “flow” value Phi is calculated, which serves as a local fitness function for each drone. The drones are moving around in order to increase their Phi value. A movement that worsened the Phi value is reversed, while for an improvement, the current direction is kept. This way, the drones execute a distributed (1+1) evolution strategy.

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