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Journal of Robotics
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 841286, 10 pages
Research Article

Evolving Neural Network Controllers for a Team of Self-Organizing Robots

Mobile Systems Group/Lakeside Labs, Institute for Networked and Embedded Systems, University of Klagenfurt, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria

Received 2 December 2009; Accepted 25 March 2010

Academic Editor: Noriyasu Homma

Copyright © 2010 István Fehérvári and Wilfried Elmenreich. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Self-organizing systems obtain a global system behavior via typically simple local interactions among a number of components or agents, respectively. The emergent service often displays properties like adaptability, robustness, and scalability, which makes the self-organizing paradigm interesting for technical applications like cooperative autonomous robots. The behavior for the local interactions is usually simple, but it is often difficult to define the right set of interaction rules in order to achieve a desired global behavior. In this paper, we describe a novel design approach using an evolutionary algorithm and artificial neural networks to automatize the part of the design process that requires most of the effort. A simulated robot soccer game was implemented to test and evaluate the proposed method. A new approach in evolving competitive behavior is also introduced using Swiss System instead of the full tournament to cut down the number of necessary simulations.