University “Dunarea de Jos” of Galati,
47 Domneasca St., Galati, 800008, Romania
Abstract: The paper describes a simple experiment aimed to demonstrate the possibility to create distributed cognitive maps of certain environments by means of recording basic information about the purposeful motion of a population of mobile agents. The environment is assumed to consist in a set of behaviorally significant places interconnected by predefined paths, just like the inns at the crossroads used to be deployed along and across populated areas centuries ago. These active places interact with the mobile agents and create local patches of relevant navigation information, which is shared with other agents that reach the respective place. As a result, the system exhibits a globally consistent spatial behavior, using only locally available, incomplete spatial knowledge. A NetLogo simulation allowed us to compare the average distance traveled by the agents, and the average travel time before reaching their goals, with a similar system wherein the agents walk randomly. As expected, the agents using the distributed spatial knowledge reached their goals much faster than those walking randomly in the same environment. We also explore the possible applications of systems built according to the principles described here.
Keywords: Multi-agent systems, spatial cognition, distributed memory maps, cognitive stigmergy.
CITE THIS PAPER AS: Ioan SUSNEA, The Inn at the Crossroads – A Model of Distributed Spatial Knowledge, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 25(1), pp. 15-20, 2016. https://doi.org/10.24846/v25i1y201602