Swarm robotics is a new approach to the coordination of multirobot systems which consist of large numbers of mostly simple physical robots. It is supposed that a desired collective behavior emerges from the interactions between the robots and interactions of robots with the environment. This approach emerged on the field of artificial swarm intelligence, as well as the biological studies of insects, ants and other fields in nature, where swarm behavior occurs.
In dynamical environments, real-time resource allocation commonly involves situations in which events occur periodically, with a certain frequency. Periodicity can originate from both natural and artificial phenomena, for example, earth's rotation and revolution, tides, cyclic production processes, and customer demands. In this environment, tasks appear in different areas following periodic temporal patterns. The swarm has to reallocate its workforce periodically, performing a temporal task allocation that must be synchronized with the environment to be effective. Temporal task allocation is addressed by using methods and concepts borrowed from the signal processing literature. In particular, a temporal task allocation algorithm is a distributed algorithm that synchronizes robots of the swarm with the environment and with each other. Robots use only local information and a simple visual communication protocol based on light blinking.
Manuel Castillo-Cagigal, Arne Brutschy, Álvaro Gutiérrez and Mauro Birattari. Temporal Task Allocation In Periodic Environments: An Approach Based on Synchronization. Ninth International Conference on Swarm Intelligence, ANTS 2014 , September 2014, Springer International Publishing, pages 182-193. ISBN: 978-3-319-09951-4.