An Overview on Optimal Flocking

Logan E. Beaver, Andreas A. Malikopoulos


The study of robotic flocking has received considerable attention in the past twenty years. As we begin to deploy flocking control algorithms on physical multi-agent and swarm systems, there is an increasing necessity for rigorous promises on safety and performance. In this paper, we present an overview the literature focusing on optimization approaches to achieve flocking behavior that provide strong safety guarantees. We separate the literature into cluster and line flocking, and categorize cluster flocking with respect to the system objective, which may be realized by a reactive, or planning, control algorithm. We also present several approaches aimed at minimizing flocking communication and computational requirements in real systems via neighbor filtering and event-driven planning. We conclude the overview with our perspective on the outlook and future research direction of optimal flocking algorithms.