A New Metric for the Analysis of Swarms using Potential Fields

Neil Eliot, David Kendall, Michael Brockway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


A widely used metric for the analysis of swarm coordination algorithms is based upon the distance between agents. This paper examines this metric and introduces an entirely new metric based upon the magnitude of the cohesion and repulsion vectors between agents. In comparing and contrasting the two metrics, we find that the cohesion/repulsion metric offers a number of advantages over the distance metric. In particular, the cohesion/repulsion metric allows the identification of the essential characteristic of a swarm as ‘expanding’, ‘stable’, or ‘contracting’. This is not possible with the distance metric. Practical swarming applications where the new metric is useful include area filling and reconnaissance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63258 - 63267
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Access
Early online date22 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2018


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