Tracking Information Flow through the Environment: Simple Cases of Stigmergy

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5 Author(s)

Recent work in sensor evolution aims at studying the perception-action loop in a formalized information-theoretic manner. By treating sensors as extracting information and actuators as having the capability to “imprint” information on the environment we can view agents as creating, maintaining and making use of various information flows. In our paper we study the perception-action loop of agents using Shannon information flows. We use information theory to track and reveal the important relationships between agents and their environment. For example, we provide an information-theoretic characterization of stigmergy and evolve finite-state automata as agent controllers to engage in stigmergic communication. Our analysis of the evolved automata and the information flow provides insight into how evolution organizes sensorie information acquisition, implicit internal and external memory, processing and action selection.