Emergence of Leadership in a Group of Autonomous Robots


In this paper we examine the factors contributing to the emergence of leadership in a group, and we explore the relationship between the role of the leader and the behavioural capabilities of other individuals. We use a simulation technique where a group of foraging robots must coordinate to choose between two identical food zones in order to forage collectively. Behavioural and quantitative analysis indicate that a form of leadership emerges, and that groups with a leader are more effective than groups without. Moreover, we show that the most skilled individuals in a group tend to be the ones that assume a leadership role, supporting biological findings. Further analysis reveals the emergence of different “styles” of leadership (active and passive).

Pugliese, F., Acerbi, A., Marocco, D. (2015), Emergence of Leadership in a Group of Autonomous Robots, PLOS ONE, 10(9), e0137234