Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
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BCCN AG-Seminar

Tuesday, 14.02.2006 16 c.t.

Neural dynamics of minimally cognitive collective behavior in multi-robotic systems

by Steffen Wischmann
from BCCN Göttingen


Seminarraum Haus 2, 4. Stock (Bunsenstr.)


Within the dynamical systems perspective on cognitive behavior it is claimed that an agent's behavior arises not simply from within the agent itself, but rather through its interactions with its environment. Considering the environment as a dynamical system as well, an agent and its environment can be seen as mutual sources of perturbations, with each system continuously influencing the other. An increasing amount of research has been done aiming at understanding cognition in its most basic sense using the Evolutionary Robotics approach to Artificial Life as a testbed and methodology for generating artificial agents and nervous systems in a relatively prejudice-free fashion. Within this realm, the talk will introduce the development of collective behavior in distributed systems of situated and embodied autonomous robots. I will present experiments that are related to the link between rather simple behavioral programs of individuals and the sophisticated structures and patterns emerge from their collective activity. These experiments are understood as one possible approach to answer questions about (i) the level of complexity required at the individual level to generate the observed complexity at the group level, and (ii) how much of this (collective) complexity is a reflection of environmental complexity rather than complexity at the individual level.

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