Distributed configuration formation with modular robots using (sub)graph isomorphism-based approach

  • Ayan Dutta
  • Prithviraj Dasgupta
  • Carl Nelson


We consider the problem of configuration formation in modular robot systems where a set of modules that are initially in different configurations and located at different locations are required to assume appropriate positions so that they can get into a new, user-specified, target configuration. We propose a novel algorithm based on (sub)graph isomorphism, where the modules select locations or spots in the target configuration using a utility-based framework, while retaining their original configuration to the greatest extent possible, to reduce the time and energy required by the modules to disconnect and connect multiple times to form the target configuration. We have shown analytically that our proposed algorithm is complete and guarantees a Pareto-optimal allocation. Experimental simulations of our algorithm with different numbers of modules in different initial configurations and located initially at different locations, show that the planning time of our algorithm is nominal (order of msec for 100 modules). We have also compared our algorithm against a market-based allocation algorithm and shown that our proposed algorithm performs better in terms of time and number of messages exchanged.


Modular robots Configuration formation Graph isomorphism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ComputingUniversity of North FloridaJacksonvilleUSA
  2. 2.Computer Science DepartmentUniversity of Nebraska at OmahaOmahaUSA
  3. 3.Mechanical and Materials Engineering DepartmentUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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