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Leveraging partially overlapping channels for intra- and inter-coalition communication in cooperative UAV swarms

Abstract

Cooperative UAV swarms typically adopt coalition-based network structures for executing tasks more efficiently. Coalition heads in such networks need to do both intra- and inter-coalition communication and may operate on different channels. While being equipped with multiple transceivers or switching among channels are alternative methods, this option would result in larger payload or incur delays. Fortunately, partially overlapping channels (POCs) can be used to forward messages on different channels since communication can be made on adjacent overlapped channels. This can help realize both intra- and inter-coalition communication with heads being equipped with only one transceiver and no switching. Therefore, this paper proposes a POC-based communication method where each coalition selects one of the POCs and UAVs in the same coalition operate on the same channel. While POCs enable information exchange among coalitions, they also incur inter-coalition interference and therefore the POC access problem is investigated. Owing to the coupled relationships among the strategies of coalitions, the problem is a combinatorial optimization one and an online learning algorithm is proposed. The algorithm is distributed and reduces the computation complexity to a great extent. Based on the knowledge of the potential game theory, the algorithm is proved to converge to the optimal solution of each stage asymptotically. Under three representative settings, simulations are made to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61771488).

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Correspondence to Yuhua Xu.

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Yao, K., Xu, Y., Li, H. et al. Leveraging partially overlapping channels for intra- and inter-coalition communication in cooperative UAV swarms. Sci. China Inf. Sci. 64, 140305 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-020-3012-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-020-3012-3

Keywords

  • UAV swarm
  • coalition
  • partially overlapping channel
  • learning algorithm
  • game theory