Collective decision making in dynamic environments

Prasetyo, Judhi, De Masi, Giulia and Ferrante, Eliseo ORCID logoORCID: (2019) Collective decision making in dynamic environments. Swarm Intelligence, 13 (3-4) . pp. 217-243. ISSN 1935-3820 [Article] (doi:10.1007/s11721-019-00169-8)

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Abstract: Collective decision making is the ability of individuals to jointly make a decision without any centralized leadership, but only relying on local interactions. A special case is represented by the best-of-n problem, whereby the swarm has to select the best option among a set of n discrete alternatives. In this paper, we perform a thorough study of the best-of-n problem in dynamic environments, in the presence of two options (n=2). Site qualities can be directly measured by agents, and we introduce abrupt changes to these qualities. We introduce two adaptation mechanisms to deal with dynamic site qualities: stubborn agents and spontaneous opinion switching. Using both computer simulations and ordinary differential equation models, we show that: (i) The mere presence of the stubborn agents is enough to achieve adaptability, but increasing its number has detrimental effects on the performance; (ii) the system adaptation increases with increasing swarm size, while it does not depend on agents’ density, unless this is below a critical threshold; (iii) the spontaneous switching mechanism can also be used to achieve adaptability to dynamic environments, and its key parameter, the probability of switching, can be used to regulate the trade-off between accuracy and speed of adaptation.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Article, Dynamic environments, Collective decision making, Best-of-n, Swarm robotics, Complex adaptive systems
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology
Item ID: 30576
Notes on copyright: © The Author(s) 2019
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2020 10:50
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 15:38

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