Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : In this work, we propose a method for self-organized adaptive task partitioning in a swarm of robots. Task partitioning refers to the decomposition of a task into less complex subtasks, which can then be tackled separately. Task partitioning can be observed in many species of social animals, where it provides several benefits for the group. Self-organized task partitioning in artificial swarm systems is currently not widely studied, although it has clear advantages in large groups. We propose a fully decentralized adaptive method that allows a swarm of robots to autonomously decide whether to partition a task into two sequential subtasks or not. The method is tested on a simulated foraging problem. We study the method's performance in two different environments. In one environment the performance of the system is optimal when the foraging task is partitioned, in the other case when it is not. We show that by employing the method proposed in this paper, a swarm of autonomous robots can reach optimal performance in both environments. © 2010 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.