The CommunicationsMaintenance and Optimization Problem in Robotic Multi-hop Networks: Assumptions, Models, and Algorithms

Report No. ARL-TR-6342
Authors: Cem Karan
Date/Pages: February 2013; 40 pages
Abstract: An important problem in robotics is the Communications Maintenance and Optimization Problem (CMOP). In this problem, we have a set of robots that are communicating with one another across a multi-hop wireless network. The primary constraint is that the robots must maintain communications between all pairs of robots, ideally in an optimal manner, while performing their assigned tasks. In this report, I describe a set of constraints and metrics for roboticists to use while trying to solve this problem. I define the Useful Model, which is only able to model a subset of those constraints and metrics, and analyze how it limits what controllers can be created using the information it contains. Next, I describe two data models that contain subsets of the information in the model that try to solve the communications problem, showing how the limitations of the model hinder the ability of the controllers to solve the problem. Finally, I describe several ways to extend the model to include more information, which may lead to better controllers in the future.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2013