A deep reinforcement learning strategy for autonomous robot flocking

Fredy Martinez, Holman Montiel, Luis Wanumen


Social behaviors in animals such as bees, ants, and birds have shown high levels of intelligence from a multi-agent system perspective. They present viable solutions to real-world problems, particularly in navigating constrained environments with simple robotic platforms. Among these behaviors is swarm flocking, which has been extensively studied for this purpose. Flocking algorithms have been developed from basic behavioral rules, which often require parameter tuning for specific applications. However, the lack of a general formulation for tuning has made these strategies difficult to implement in various real conditions, and even to replicate laboratory behaviors. In this paper, we propose a flocking scheme for small autonomous robots that can self-learn in dynamic environments, derived from a deep reinforcement learning process. Our approach achieves flocking independently of population size and environmental characteristics, with minimal external intervention. Our multi-agent system model considers each agent’s action as a linear function dynamically adjusting the motion according to interactions with other agents and the environment. Our strategy is an important contribution toward real-world flocking implementation. We demonstrate that our approach allows for autonomous flocking in the system without requiring specific parameter tuning, making it ideal for applications where there is a need for simple robotic platforms to navigate in dynamic environments.


deep deterministic policy gradient; deep reinforcement learning; multi-agent learning; self-organised flocking; swarm robotics;

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DOI: http://doi.org/10.11591/ijece.v13i5.pp5707-5716

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International Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering (IJECE)
p-ISSN 2088-8708, e-ISSN 2722-2578

This journal is published by the Institute of Advanced Engineering and Science (IAES) in collaboration with Intelektual Pustaka Media Utama (IPMU).