Mean Field Behaviour of Collaborative Multi-Agent Foragers

Daniel Jarne Ornia, Pedro J Zufiria, Manuel Mazo

Collaborative multi-agent robotic systems where agents coordinate by modifying a shared environment often result in undesired dynamical couplings that complicate the analysis and experiments when solving a specific problem or task. Simultaneously, biologically-inspired robotics rely on simplifying agents and increasing their number to obtain more efficient solutions to such problems, drawing similarities with natural processes. In this work we focus on the problem of a biologically-inspired multi-agent system solving collaborative foraging. We show how mean field techniques can be used to re-formulate such a stochastic multi-agent problem into a deterministic au- tonomous system. This de-couples agent dynamics, enabling the computation of limit behaviours and the analysis of optimality guarantees. Furthermore, we analyse how having finite number of agents affects the performance when compared to the mean field limit and we discuss the implications of such limit approximations in this multi-agent system, which have impact on more general collaborative stochastic problems.

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