Technical Report CIS-2009-01

Title: Multi-A(ge)nt Graph Patrolling and Partitioning.
Authors: Yotam Elor and Alfred M. Bruckstein.
Abstract: Abstract We introduce a novel multi agent patrolling algorithm inspired by the behavior of gas filled balloons. Very low capability ant-like agents are considered with the task of patrolling an area modeled as a graph. While executing the proposed algorithm, the agents dynamically partition the graph between them using simple local interactions, every agent assuming the responsibility for patrolling his subgraph. Balanced graph partition is an emergent behavior due to the local interactions between the agents in the swarm. Extensive simulations on various graphs (environments) showed that the average time to reach a balanced partition is linear with the graph size. The simulations yielded a convincing argument for conjecturing that if the graph being patrolled contains a balanced partition, the agents will find it. However, we could not prove this. Nevertheless, we can prove that if a balanced partition is reached, the maximum time lag between two successive visits to any vertex using the proposed strategy is at most twice the optimal so the patrol quality is at least half the optimal.
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