On the computational power of oblivious robots: Forming a series of geometric patterns

Shantanu Das, Paola Flocchini, Nicola Santoro, Masafumi Yamashita

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We study the computational power of a distributed system consisting of simple autonomous robots moving on the plane. The robots are endowed with visual perception but do not have any means of explicit communication with each other, and have no memory of the past. In the extensive literature it has been shown how such simple robots can form a single geometric pattern (e.g., a line, a circle, etc), however arbitrary, in spite of their obliviousness. This brings to the front the natural research question: what are the real computational limits imposed by the robots being oblivious? In particular, since obliviousness limits what can be remembered, under what conditions can oblivious robots form a series of geometric patterns? Notice that a series of patterns would create some form of memory in an otherwise memory-less system. In this paper we examine and answer this question showing that, under particular conditions, oblivious robot systems can indeed form series of geometric patterns starting from any arbitrary configuration. More precisely, we study the series of patterns that can be formed by robot systems under various restrictions such as anonymity, asynchrony and lack of common orientation. These results are the first strong indication that oblivious solutions may be obtained also for tasks that intuitively seem to require memory.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPODC'10 - Proceedings of the 2010 ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing
Pages267-276
Number of pages10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 8 2010
Event29th ACM SIGACT-SIGOPS Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, PODC 2010 - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: Jul 25 2010Jul 28 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing

Other

Other29th ACM SIGACT-SIGOPS Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, PODC 2010
CountrySwitzerland
CityZurich
Period7/25/107/28/10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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