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Asynchronous Distributed Searchlight Scheduling

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Journal Article - Open Access

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University of California at Santa Barbara Santa Barbara United States

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This paper develops and compares two simple asynchronous distributed searchlight scheduling algorithms for multiple robotic agents in nonconvex polygonal environments. A searchlight is a ray emitted by a agent which cannot penetrate the boundary of the environment. A point is detected by a searchlight if and only if the point is on the ray at some instant. Targets are points which can move continuously with unbounded speed. The objective of the proposed algorithms is for the agents to coordinate the slewing rotation about a point of their searchlights in a distributed manner, i.e., using only local sensing and limited communication, such that any target will necessarily be detected in finite time. The first algorithm we develop, called the DOWSS Distributed One Way Sweep Strategy, is a distributed version of a known algorithm described originally in 1990by Sugihara et al 9, but it can be very slow in clearing the entire environment because only one searchlight may slew at a time. In an effort to reduce the time to clear the environment, we develop a second algorithm, called the PTSS Parallel Tree Sweep Strategy, in which searchlights sweep in parallel if guards are placed according to an environment partition belonging to a class we call PTSS partitions. Finally, we discuss how DOWSS and PTSS could be combined with deployment, or extended to environments with holes.

Subject Categories:

  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

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