Groups of Agents with a Leader
We describe simulations of groups of agents that have to reach a target in a two dimensional environment, the performance criterion being the time taken by the last agent to reach the target. If the target is within a given distance from the agent, the agent moves towards the target; otherwise it moves randomly. The simulations contrast groups with and without a leader, where a leader is a member of the group which other members of the group follow as it moves through the environment. We investigate three factors that affect group performance: (1) group size; (2) the presence or absence of an individual agent with the ability to detect targets at a greater distance than those 'visible' to its companions; (3) the existence of a communication network among group members. The results show that, in groups without communication, leaders have a beneficial effect on group performance, especially in large groups and if the individual with better than average sensory capabilities is the leader of the group. However, in situations where group members can communicate, these results are reversed, with leaders being detrimental, rather than beneficial, to group performance
Volume (Year): 10 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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