Evolutionary Intelligence

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 95–106 | Cite as

The distributed co-evolution of an on-board simulator and controller for swarm robot behaviours

  • Paul J. O’Dowd
  • Matthew Studley
  • Alan F. T. Winfield
Special Issue


We investigate the reality gap, specifically the environmental correspondence of an on-board simulator. We describe a novel distributed co-evolutionary approach to improve the transference of controllers that co-evolve with an on-board simulator. A novelty of our approach is the the potential to improve transference between simulation and reality without an explicit measurement between the two domains. We hypothesise that a variation of on-board simulator environment models across many robots can be competitively exploited by comparison of the real controller fitness of many robots. We hypothesise that the real controller fitness values across many robots can be taken as indicative of the varied fitness in environmental correspondence of on-board simulators, and used to inform the distributed evolution an on-board simulator environment model without explicit measurement of the real environment. Our results demonstrate that our approach creates an adaptive relationship between the on-board simulator environment model, the real world behaviour of the robots, and the state of the real environment. The results indicate that our approach is sensitive to whether the real behavioural performance of the robot is informative on the state real environment.


Evolutionary robotics Swarm robotics Distributed evolution Online evolution 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul J. O’Dowd
    • 1
  • Matthew Studley
    • 1
  • Alan F. T. Winfield
    • 1
  1. 1.University of the West of EnglandBristolUK

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