We focus on the online multi-object k-coverage problem (OMOkC), where mobile robots are required to sense a mobile target from k diverse points of view, coordinating themselves in a scalable and possibly decentralised way. There is active research on OMOkC, particularly in the design of decentralised algorithms for solving it. We propose a new take on the issue: Rather than classically developing new algorithms, we apply a macro-level paradigm, called aggregate computing, specifically designed to directly program the global behaviour of a whole ensemble of devices at once. To understand the potential of the application of aggregate computing to OMOkC, we extend the Alchemist simulator (supporting aggregate computing natively) with a novel toolchain component supporting the simulation of mobile robots. This way, we build a software engineering toolchain comprising language and simulation tooling for addressing OMOkC. Finally, we exercise our approach and related toolchain by introducing new algorithms for OMOkC; we show that they can be expressed concisely, reuse existing software components and perform better than the current state-of-the-art in terms of coverage over time and number of objects covered overall.
|ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems
|Udgivet - jun. 2022