Learning to Coordinate Behaviors

Pattie Maes, Rodney A. Brooks

We describe an algorithm which allows a behavior-based robot to learn on the basis of positive and negative feedback when to activate its behaviors. In accordance with the philosophy of behavior-based robots, the algorithm is completely distributed: each of the behaviors independently tries to find out (i) whether it is relevant (i.e. whether it is at all correlated to positive feedback) and (ii) what the conditions are under which it becomes reliable (i.e. the conditions under which it maximises the probability of receiving positive feedback and minimises the probability of receiving negative feedback). The algorithm has been tested successfully on an autonomous 6-legged robot which had to learn how to coordinate its lens so as to walk forward.


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