, Volume 2, Issue 2-4, pp 189-208
Date: 22 Aug 2008

Massively multi-robot simulation in stage

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Abstract

Stage is a C++ software library that simulates multiple mobile robots. Stage version 2, as the simulation backend for the Player/Stage system, may be the most commonly used robot simulator in research and university teaching today. Development of Stage version 3 has focused on improving scalability, usability, and portability. This paper examines Stage’s scalability.

We propose a simple benchmark for multi-robot simulator performance, and present results for Stage. Run time is shown to scale approximately linearly with population size up to 100,000 robots. For example, Stage simulates 1 simple robot at around 1,000 times faster than real time, and 1,000 simple robots at around real time. These results suggest that Stage may be useful for swarm robotics researchers who would otherwise use custom simulators, with their attendant disadvantages in terms of code reuse and transparency.