Swarm-based spatial sorting

Martyn Amos, Oliver Don

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present an algorithm for spatially sorting objects into an annular structure. Design/methodology/approach – A swarm-based model that requires only stochastic agent behaviour coupled with a pheromone-inspired “attraction-repulsion” mechanism. Findings – The algorithm consistently generates high-quality annular structures, and is particularly powerful in situations where the initial configuration of objects is similar to those observed in nature. Research limitations/implications – Experimental evidence supports previous theoretical arguments about the nature and mechanism of spatial sorting by insects. Practical implications – The algorithm may find applications in distributed robotics. Originality/value – The model offers a powerful minimal algorithmic framework, and also sheds further light on the nature of attraction-repulsion algorithms and underlying natural processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-473
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


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