On the Role of Zealots in Collective Decision-making Problem

Student thesis: Doc typesDocteur en Sciences


In this dissertation we study the role of zealot agents in collective decision making in self-organized swarm robots, particularly the best-of-n problem with n = 2 where the swarm is expected to choose the best one among two options. Two types of agent zealotry are proposed and studied during the research: zealotry in decision space and in planar space.

In decision space, zealotry behavior prevents agents to change their opinion and fixed towards a particular option. We propose a novel scenario called dynamic environment where the quality of options available during the collective decision making process are changing over time. We perform experiment in simulation to study the effect of zealotry in decision space towards the consensus outcome. The results show that the existence of zealot agents help the swarm to adapt their decision against the changes of option quality.

Furthermore, we study the interplay between the differential quantity of zealot
agents against the differential quality of available options. In this novel scenario, we analyze the number of zealot agents required in order to influence the consensus result in various option quality proportions.

In planar space, zealotry behavior is represented by agent’s inability to move. Inspired by the defense mechanism of stingless bee, we propose a new type of agent that will stay at their position in the arena during the collective decision-making process.

We analyze the effect of this behavior in the attempt to make option with lower quality wins against the option with higher quality.
The results of this study suggest that the presence of zealots within a collective decision-making system plays significant role in controlling the collective dynamics.
la date de réponse11 sept. 2023
langue originaleAnglais
L'institution diplômante
  • Universite de Namur
SuperviseurElio Tuci (Promoteur), Wim Vanhoof (Président), Benoît Frénay (Jury), Eliseo Ferrante (Jury), Giulia De Masi (Jury), Mauro Birattari (Jury) & Heiko Hamann (Jury)

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