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Pages 679-685
First published 2 September 2013

The relationship between Flocking Behavior and the Emergence of Leadership

Francesco Pugliese, Davide Marocco


This paper examines the relationship between flocking behaviour and leadership. In order to achieve this aim, we simulate two co-evolving populations of robots: predators and prey. Behavioural and quantitative analysis indicate that a wellstructured hierarchic leadership emerges in the population of predators after the evolution. The emergence of leadership relates to high levels of fitness, so leadership seems to be a winning strategy. We show that the leader role has been assumed by more explorative individuals. Moreover, exploratory behaviours mostly appear when there is a low following behaviour. Therefore, exploratory and following capabilities seem to be complementary both within every replication and within simulations with different perceptual conditions. On the other hand, leadership seems to be a strategy to enable followers to be more explorative.

Index Terms: Leadership, Evolutionary Robotics, Flocking