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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7551/978-0-262-32621-6-ch023
Pages 138-145
First published 30 July 2014

Collective Design of Robot Locomotion

Mark Wagy and Josh Bongard

Abstract (Excerpt)

It has been shown that the collective action of non-experts can compete favorably with an individual expert or an optimization method on a given problem. However, the best method for organizing collective problem solving is still an open question. Using the domain of robotics, we examine whether cooperative search for design strategies is superior to individual search. We use a web-based robot simulation to determine whether groups of human users can leverage design intuition from others to focus search on relevant parts of a complex design space. We show that individuals that work cooperatively with the aid of a simple optimization algorithm are better able to improve the design of robot locomotion than if they were to work individually with the aid of the optimization algorithm. This result suggests that groups of designers may more effectively work in tandem with optimization algorithms than individuals working in isolation.