Robot Swarm Design Patterns


Design Pattern Catalogue

Information Exchange Anywhere


Information Aggregation pattern


Robots need to exchange information frequently.


Robots are able to either directly communicate with each other (e.g., as in Wawerla and Vaughan, 2010; Ducatelle et al., 2014; Pitonakova et al., 2018) or to store information in the environment and retrieve it (Hrolenok et al., 2010; Fujisawa et al., 2014, e.g., as in).


Information, stored in internal or external data structures, is exchanged anywhere in the environment.

BDRML representation of the Information Exchange Anywhere design pattern.BDRML representation of the Information Exchange Anywhere design pattern.

Feedback Loops:

Positive feedback loops that already exist in the swarm behaviour are enforced.






  • Frequent exchange of information between robots can lead to a strong preference for a single worksite (Gutiérrez et al., 2010; Fraga et al., 2011). Therefore, a mechanism for regulation of recruitment may need to be implemented in order to prevent congestion and poor swarm performance.

Known Uses:

To study the problem of decentralised worksite localisation (Hoff et al., 2010; Gutiérrez et al., 2010; Fraga et al., 2011; Fujisawa et al., 2014) and decentralised task allocation algorithms (Sarker and Dahl, 2011).

Related Patterns:

Serves an alternative to the Information Exchange near Worksites and the Information Exchange Centre patterns, where the robot behaviour may be easier to understand due to the lack of parameters, but where the swarm performance might deteriorate as a result of frequent information sharing.

Often used in combination with the Information Storage pattern to create chemical or other trails between the base and worksites in central-place foraging (Drogoul and Ferber, 1993; Kazama et al., 2005; Hoff et al., 2010; Hrolenok et al., 2010; Mayet et al., 2010; Ducatelle et al., 2011; Fujisawa et al., 2014). Can also be used in combination with the Broadcaster pattern in order to allow robots to exchange information locally (Gutiérrez et al., 2010; Fraga et al., 2011; Sarker and Dahl, 2011).