Erol Gelenbe
Search in Uncertain Environments

Erol Gelenbe, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom


Search with mobile robots in remote or planetary environments, searching in very large networked data bases with software robots, the travel of particles or of biological agents in random media in search of a specific docking location, packets that travel in large wireless networks, animals that forage for food or move in search of a mate, or computer processors that search for the minimum of an imperfectly known functions, all share characteristics of a search in uncertain environments. Using Brownian motion, we will compute travel times of such "searchers" that have a limited life span and that are prone to loss or destruction, and derive the expected travel time for a search to be successful. Also, an N- dimensional Brownian motion will yield the time it takes to find the object being searched when N-searchers are sent out simultaneously to accelerate the search process. The energy consumed in the search will also be discussed.
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