When an emergency occurs within a building it is critical to explore the area as fast as possible in order to find victims and identify hazards. In this talk, I will present Brick&Mortar, an algorithm for the autonomous exploration of unknown terrains by a team of mobile agents. Because of the unreliability and short range of wireless communications in indoor environment we suggest that agents communicate indirectly with each other by tagging the environment. Agents have no prior knowledge of the map, but they are able to coordinate in order to explore a variety of terrains with different topological features. Extensive simulation results show that Brick&Mortar significantly outperforms the competing algorithms, namely Ants and Multiple Depth First Search, in terms of exploration time. The observed performance benefits suggest that Brick&Mortar is suitable for safety-critical applications that require rapid area coverage for real-time event detection and response.
Dr Nikki Trigoni
Niki Trigoni obtained a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Athens University of Economics and Business (Greece) in 1998, whilst working as a data analyst in the I.T. department of the National Bank of Greece (1995-1998). Having won a National Scholarship from the Greek State Scholarhip Foundation (I.K.Y.), she obtained her PhD in the area of object query optimization from the Computer Laboratory of the University of Cambridge (2001). She then pursued a post-doctoral fellowship at the Cornell Department of Computer Science in the area of wireless sensor networks. In 2005, she was appointed a lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London, and in 2007, she joined the University of Oxford. Her present research interests are in the areas of distributed algorithms for fixed and mobile sensor networks.