Levy foraging in a dynamic environment - Extending the Levy search

Vincenzo Fioriti, Fabio Fratichini, Stefano Chiesa, Claudio Moriconi

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6 Citations (Scopus)


A common task for robots is the patrolling of an unknown area with inadequate information about target locations. Under these circumstances it has been suggested that animal foraging could provide an optimal or at least suboptimal search methodology, namely the Levy flight search. Although still in debate, it seems that predators somehow follow this search pattern when foraging, because it avoids being trapped in a local search if the food is beyond the sensory range. A Levy flight is a particular case of the random walk. Its displacements on a 2-D surface are drawn from the Pareto-Levy probability distribution, characterized by power law tails. The Levy flight search has many applications in optical material, ladars, optics, large database search, earthquake data analysis, location of DNA sites, human mobility, stock return analysis, online auctions, astronomy, ecology and biology. Almost all studies and simulations concerning the Levy flight foraging examine static or slowly moving (with respect to the forager) uniformly distributed resources. Moreover, in recent works a small swarm of underwater autonomous vehicles has been used to test the standard Levy search in the underwater environment, with good results. In this paper we extend the classical Levy foraging framework taking into consideration a moving target allocated on a 2- D surface according to a radial probability distribution and comparing its performance with the random walk search. The metric used in the numerical simulations is the detection rate. Simulations include the sensor resolution, intended as the maximum detection distance of the forager from the target. Furthermore, contrarily to the usual Levy foraging framework, we use only one target. Results show that Levy flight outperforms the random walk if the sensor detection radius is not too small or too large. We also find the Levy flight in the velocity of the center of mass model of a fish school according the Kuramoto equation, a famous model of synchronization phenomena. Finally, a discussion about the controversy concerning the innate or evolutionary origin of the Levy foraging is given.
Original languageEnglish
Article number98
Pages (from-to)-
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence

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