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Distributed Cognition as the Basis for Adaptation and Homeostasis in Robots

Stovold, James (2016) Distributed Cognition as the Basis for Adaptation and Homeostasis in Robots. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Many researchers approach the problem of building autonomous systems by looking to biology for inspiration. This has given rise to a wide-range of artificial systems mimicking their biological counterparts—artificial neural networks, artificial endocrine systems, and artificial musculoskeletal systems are prime examples. While these systems are succinct and work well in isolation, they can become cumbersome and complicated when combined to perform more complex tasks. Autonomous behaviour is one such complex task. This thesis considers autonomy as the complex behaviour it is, and proposes a bottom-up approach to developing autonomous behaviour from cognition. This consists of investigating how cognition can provide new approaches to the current limitations of swarm systems, and using this as the basis for one type of autonomous behaviour: artificial homeostasis. Distributed cognition, a form of emergent cognition, is most often described in terms of the immune system and social insects. By taking inspiration from distributed cognition, this thesis details the development of novel algorithms for cognitive decision-making and emergent identity in leaderless, homogenous swarms. Artificial homeostasis is provided to a robot through an architecture that combines the cognitive decision-making algorithm with a simple associative memory. This architecture is used to demonstrate how a simple architecture can endow a robot with the capacity to adapt to an unseen environment, and use that information to proactively seek out what it needs from the environment in order to maintain its internal state.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Computer Science (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.701478
Depositing User: Mr James Stovold
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2017 10:57
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15885

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