The impact of the Gabriel subgraph of the visibility graph on the gathering of mobile autonomous robots
In this paper, we reconsider the well-known discrete, round-based Go-To-The-Center algorithm due to Ando, Suzuki, and Yamashita [2] for gathering n autonomous mobile robots with limited viewing range in the plane. Remarquably, this algorithm exploits the fact that during its execution, many collisions of robots occur. Such collisions are interpreted as a success because it is assumed that such collided robots behave the same from now on. This is acceptable under the assumption that each robot is represented by a single point. Otherwise, collisions should be avoided. In this paper, we consider a continuous Go-To-The-Center algorithm in which the robots continuously observe the positions of their neighbors and adapt their speed (assuming a speed limit) and direction. Our first results are time bounds of O(n2) for gathering in two dimensions Euclidean space, and Θ(n) for the one dimension. Our main contribution is the introduction and evaluation of a continuous algorithm which performs Go-To-The-Center considering only the neighbors of a robot with respect to the Gabriel subgraph of the visibility graph, i.e. Go-To-The-Gabriel-Center algorithm. We show that this modification still correctly executes gathering in one and two dimensions, with the same time bounds as above. Simulations exhibit a severe difference of the behavior of the Go-To-The-Center and the Go-To-The-Gabriel-Center algorithms: Whereas lots of collisions occur during a run of the Go-To-The-Center algorithm, typically only one, namely the final collision occurs during a run of the Go-To-The-Gabriel-Center algorithm. We can prove this “collisionless property” of the Go-To-The-Gabriel-Center algorithm for one dimension. In two-dimensional Euclidean space, we conjecture that the “collisionless property” holds for almost every initial configuration. We support our conjecture with measurements obtained from the simulation where robots execute both continuous Go-To-The-Center and Go-To-The-Gabriel-Center algorithms.
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