Distributed, context-based organization and reorganization of multi-AUV systems

Abstract: Many tasks requiring multiple autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are simple, with static goals, of short duration, and require few AUVs, often of the same type. Simple coordination mechanisms that assign roles to AUVs before the mission are sufficient for these multi-AUV systems. However, for tasks that are complex and dynamic, of long duration (implying that AUVs will come and go during the mission), and that have many heterogeneous AUVs, a priori organization of the system will not work. In addition, due to changes in the situation, the system will likely need to be reorganized during the mission.

We are developing a distributed, context-aware self-organization/reorganization scheme for advanced multi-AUV systems. This is a two-level approach in which a meta-level organization first self-organizes, assesses the context, and uses contextual knowledge to design a task-level organization appropriate for the context that can then carry out the mission. We are extending our prior work by distributing both the context assessment process and the organization design process. The result will be a system that can self organize efficiently and effectively for its context and that can reorganize appropriately as the context changes.

Citation: David Gagne, Sonia Rode, and Roy M. Turner.Proceedings of the 18th International Symposium on Unmanned, Untethered Submersible Technology (UUST 2013), Portsmouth, NH, 2013.