Decentralised Coordination of Mobile Sensors Using the Max-Sum Algorithm

In this paper, we introduce an on-line, decentralised coordination algorithm for monitoring and predicting the state of spatial phenomena by a team of mobile sensors. These sensors have their application domain in disaster response, where strict time constraints prohibit path planning in advance. The algorithm enables sensors to coordinate their movements with their direct neighbours to maximise the collective information gain, while predicting measurements at unobserved locations using a Gaussian process. It builds upon the max-sum message passing algorithm for decentralised coordination, for which we present two new generic pruning techniques that result in speed-up of up to 92% for 5 sensors. We empirically evaluate our algorithmagainst several on-line adaptive coordination mechanisms, and report a reduction in root mean squared error up to 50% compared to a greedy strategy.

Ruben Stranders, Alessandro Farinelli, Alex Rogers, Nicholas R. Jennings