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Idiotypic Immune Networks in Mobile-Robot Control

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3 Author(s)
Whitbrook, A.M. ; Univ. of Nottingham, Nottingham ; Aickelin, U. ; Garibaldi, J.M.

Jerne's idiotypic-network theory postulates that the immune response involves interantibody stimulation and suppression, as well as matching to antigens. The theory has proved the most popular artificial immune system (AIS) model for incorporation into behavior-based robotics, but guidelines for implementing idiotypic selection are scarce. Furthermore, the direct effects of employing the technique have not been demonstrated in the form of a comparison with nonidiotypic systems. This paper aims to address these issues. A method for integrating an idiotypic AIS network with a reinforcement-learning (RL)-based control system is described, and the mechanisms underlying antibody stimulation and suppression are explained in detail. Some hypotheses that account for the network advantage are put forward and tested using three systems with increasing idiotypic complexity. The basic RL, a simplified hybrid AIS-RL that implements idiotypic selection independently of derived concentration levels, and a full hybrid AIS-RL scheme are examined. The test bed takes the form of a simulated Pioneer robot that is required to navigate through maze worlds detecting and tracking door markers.

Published in:

Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 6 )