Skip navigation
Pages 513-520
First published 2 September 2013

Hidden information transfer in an autonomous swinging robot

James Thorniley, Phil Husbands


This paper describes a hitherto overlooked aspect of the information dynamics of embodied agents, which can be thought of as hidden information transfer. This phenomenon is demonstrated in a minimal model of an autonomous agent. While it is well known that information transfer is generally low between closely synchronised systems, here we show how it is possible that such close synchronisation may serve to "carry" signals between physically separated endpoints. This creates seemingly paradoxical situations where transmitted information is not visible at some intermediate point in a network, yet can be seen later after further processing. We discuss how this relates to existing theories relating information transfer to agent behaviour, and the possible explanation by analogy to communication systems.