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Front. Robot. AI | doi: 10.3389/frobt.2018.00013

Assessing Human Judgement of Computationally Generated Swarming Behaviour

  • 1School of Engineering and Information Technology, Canberra, University of New South Wales, Australia

Computer-based swarm systems, aiming to replicate the flocking behaviour of birds, were first introduced by Reynolds in 1987. In his initial work Reynolds noted that while it was difficult to quantify the dynamics of the behaviour from the model, observers of his model immediately recognised them as a representation of a natural flock. Considerable analysis has been conducted since then on quantifying the dynamics of flocking/swarming behaviour. However, no systematic analysis has been conducted on human identification of swarming. In this paper we assess subjects' assessment of the behaviour of a simplified version of Reynolds' model. Factors that affect the identification of swarming are discussed and future applications of the resulting models are proposed. Differences in decision times for swarming-related questions asked during the study indicate that different brain mechanisms may be involved in different elements of the behaviour assessment task. The relatively simple, but finely tuneable model used in this study provides a useful methodology for assessing individual human judgement of swarming behaviour.

Keywords: swarming, Flocking, Perception of Biological Motion, swarm intelligence, Human perception

Received: 30 Nov 2017; Accepted: 30 Jan 2018.

Edited by:

Joseph T. Lizier, University of Sydney, Australia

Reviewed by:

Melanie E. Moses, University of New Mexico, United States
Gabriele Valentini, Arizona State University, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Harvey, Merrick and Abbass. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Hussein A. Abbass, Canberra, University of New South Wales, School of Engineering and Information Technology, Northcott Drive, Canberra, 2600, ACT, Australia,