Behaviour-based Architectures

Behaviour-based architectures came up in the 1980s. Their component-based, distributed nature paired with the ability to create large networks by combining numerous rather simple behaviours yields several advantages over classic, typically monolithic systems.

For example, a single element of a behaviour-based system can easily be developed, implemented, and tested on its own before being integrated into the target system. Furthermore, a behaviour can easily be used in different systems, which facilitates the reuse of functionality. This is usually more difficult or even impossible in monolithic architectures.

Because of the many advantages, behaviour-based components are used extensively in the control systems of the vehicles developed at the Robotics Research Lab (RRLab).

The Behaviour-based Architecture iB2C

With the aim to combine the best elements of existing architectures while overcoming their deficiencies, the behaviour-based architecture iB2C (integrated Behaviour-Based Control) is developed at the RRLab.

The iB2C has been implemented using the robotics framework MCA2-Kl (Modular Controller Architecture 2 - Kaiserslautern Branch), which is used to control all of the lab's robots.

Basic Elements

The central component of the iB2C is a behaviour. All behaviours share a common interface consisting of stimulation s (used for gradual enabling), inhibition i (used for gradual disabling), activity a (the degree of influence the behaviour intends to have), and target rating r (the behaviour's satisfaction with the current situation). s and i are combined to the activation ι, which defines the behaviour's maximum influence within a network. These values are limited to [0,1].

Apart from the common interface, a behaviour can have special control inputs and outputs (e and u), which are connected by the behaviour-specific transfer function F: u = F (e,ι). There is no limitation on F, i.e. it can realise anything from a simple mapping to a complex calculation.

The iB2C features a special fusion behaviour that can be used to merge the outputs of multiple competing behaviours depending on their activities. Three different fusion modes are available:

  1. Maximum fusion: The control value of the most active behavior is forwarded.
  2. Weighted average fusion: The control values of the competing behaviors are weighted with the activity of the corresponding behavior.
  3. Weighted sum fusion: The control values of the competing behaviours are summed up according to their activity.

Extensions for Realising Sequences

Most behaviour-based architectures lack direct support for the realisation of complex, deliberative functionalities on high navigation layers. As a result, developers of high-level navigation systems cannot benefit from the numerous advantages of behaviour-based approaches. However, the limitation to mainly reactive tasks is unnecessary.

Therefore, a special coordinating behaviour, the conditional behaviour stimulator (CBS), has been added to the iB2C that can be used to realise sequences of behaviour activations. The CBS' activity depends on the values at a set of special ports. To these ports, activity or target rating outputs of other behaviours are connected.Hence, a CBS gets active or inactive depending on the activities or target ratings of connected behaviours. By cascading CBSes, arbitrarily complex behaviour activity sequences can be created.

The support for behaviour activity sequences is described in Armbrust11a. How it can be used to realise Moore automata as behaviour networks is illustrated in Armbrust12.

Behaviour Network Analysis

Due to the distributed nature of behaviour-based systems, the proper connection of behaviours within a network is crucial for the correct operation of a system. Therefore, the analysis and verification of behaviour networks is currently investigated at the RRLab.

A first work deals with the detection and tracing of behaviour activity oscillations. It is described in Wilhelm09. Current research deals with the modelling of behaviour networks as finite-state automata and the subsequent verification using model checking.

Relevant Publications

2017

Matthias Kremer
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Behavior-Based Navigation for Stuck Vehicles in Rough Off-Road Environments
Bachelor's Thesis, Robotics Research Lab, University of Kaiserslautern, 2017, October 05, Kaiserslautern, Germany, unpublished, supervised by Patrick Wolf
Felix Hasselwander
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Object Tracking and Movement Prediction
Bachelor's Thesis, Robotics Research Lab, University of Kaiserslautern, 2017, September 20, Kaiserslautern, Germany, unpublished, supervised by Patrick Wolf
Simon Velden
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Behavior-Based Gear Control for Rough Off-Road Environments
Project Report, Robotics Research Lab, University of Kaiserslautern, 2017, September 29, Kaiserslautern, Germany, unpublished, supervised by Patrick Wolf
Thorsten Ropertz, Patrick Wolf, Karsten Berns
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Quality-Based Behavior-Based Control for Autonomous Robots in Rough Environments
Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics (ICINCO 2017), SCITEPRESS – Science and Technology Publications, Lda, vol. 1, pp. 513--524, INSTICC, 2017, July 26--28, Madrid, Spain, ISBN: 978-989-758-263-9; DOI: 10.5220/0006481405130524
Tobias Groll, Steffen Hemer, Thorsten Ropertz, Karsten Berns
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A Behavior-based Architecture for Excavation Tasks
34th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC), pp. 1005-1012, International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction, 2017, June 28-July 1
Dennis Meckel
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Strukturanalyse von Verhaltensnetzen auf Meta-Signal-Ebene
Bachelor's Thesis, Robotics Research Lab, University of Kaiserslautern, 2017, January 9, unpublished

2016

Alexander Klein
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Behavior-Based Cooperation Strategies for Construction Machines
Master's Thesis, Robotics Research Lab, University of Kaiserslautern, 2016, December 01, Kaiserslautern, Germany, unpublished, supervised by Thorsten Ropertz
Patrick Vatter
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Structured Design of Quality-Sensitive Behavior-Based Perception Systems
Master's Thesis, Robotics Research Lab, University of Kaiserslautern, 2016, April 29, unpublished
Thorsten Ropertz, Karsten Berns, Xian Li, Klaus Schneider
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Verification of Behavior-Based Control Systems in their Physical Environment
Methoden und Beschreibungssprachen zur Modellierung und Verifikation von Schaltungen und Systemen (MBMV), University of Freiburg, pp. 128-137, 2016, Freiburg, Germany

2015

Lisa Kiekbusch, Christopher Armbrust, Karsten Berns
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Formal Verification of Behaviour Networks Including Sensor Failures
in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, vol. 74, Part B, pp. 331-339, 2015, December, DOI:10.1016/j.robot.2015.08.002
Christopher Armbrust
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Design and Verification of Behaviour-Based Systems Realising Task Sequences
Verlag Dr. Hut, München, 2015, http://www.dr.hut-verlag.de/978-3-8439-2261-6.html ISBN-13: 978-3-8439-2261-6
Christopher Armbrust, Lisa Kiekbusch, Thorsten Ropertz, Karsten Berns
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Soft Robot Control with a Behaviour-Based Architecture
Soft Robotics - Transferring Theory to Application, Springer-Verlag, pp. 81--91, 2015

2014

Christopher Armbrust
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Design and Verification of Behaviour-Based Systems Realising Task Sequences
Robotics Research Lab, Department of Computer Science, University of Kaiserslautern, 2014, November 26, http://www.dr.hut-verlag.de/978-3-8439-2261-6.html
Lisa Kiekbusch, Christopher Armbrust, Karsten Berns
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Formal Verification of Behaviour Networks Including Hardware Failures
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS-13), 2014, July 15-19, Padova, Italy
Daniel Schmidt, Karsten Berns
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Behavior-based trajectory adaptation based on bucket-volume estimation
Commercial Vehicle Technology 2014 -- Proceedings of the Commercial Vehicle Technology Symposium (CVT 2014), pp. 347-356, 2014, March 11-13, Kaiserslautern, Germany
Thorsten Ropertz, Karsten Berns
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Verification of Behavior-Based Networks - Using Satisfiability Modulo Theories
Proceedings for the joint conference of ISR 2014 and ROBOTIK 2014, VDE VERLAG GMBH, pp. 669--674, 2014

2013

Fabian Göckel
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Development of a behavior-based obstacle collision avoidance for the autonomous excavator THOR
Bachelors Thesis, Robotics Research Lab, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Kaiserslautern, 2013, October
Christopher Armbrust, Lisa Kiekbusch, Thorsten Ropertz, Karsten Berns
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Quantitative Aspects of Behaviour Network Verification
Proceedings of the 26th Canadian Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Springer, vol. 7884, 2013, May 28-31, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Christopher Armbrust, Lisa Kiekbusch, Thorsten Ropertz, Karsten Berns
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Tool-Assisted Verification of Behaviour Networks
Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2013), pp. 1813--1820, 2013, May 6-10, Karlsruhe, Germany

2012

Christopher Armbrust, Lisa Kiekbusch, Thorsten Ropertz, Karsten Berns
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Verification of Behaviour Networks Using Finite-State Automata
KI 2012: Advances in Artificial Intelligence, Springer, 2012, September 24-27, Saarbrücken, Germany, http://www.shaker.de/de/content/catalogue/index.asp?lang=de&ID=8&ISBN=978-3-8440-0798-5
Christopher Armbrust, Daniel Schmidt, Karsten Berns
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Generating Behaviour Networks from Finite-State Machines
Proceedings of the 7th German Conference on Robotics (ROBOTIK 2012), 2012, May 22--25

2011

Christopher Armbrust, Lisa Kiekbusch, Karsten Berns
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Using Behaviour Activity Sequences for Motion Generation and Situation Recognition
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics (ICINCO 2011), SciTePress - Science and Technology Publications, pp. 120-127, Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication (INSTICC), 2011, July 28-31, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands
Christopher Armbrust, Martin Proetzsch, Karsten Berns
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Behaviour-Based Off-Road Robot Navigation
in KI - Künstliche Intelligenz, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 155-160, 2011, May, this publication is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13218-011-0090-2

2010

Christopher Armbrust, Martin Proetzsch, Bernd-Helge Schäfer, Karsten Berns
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A Behaviour-based Integration of Fully Autonomous, Semi-autonomous and Tele-operated Control Modes for an Off-road Robot
Proceedings of the 2nd IFAC Symposium on Telematics Applications, IFAC, 2010, October 5-8, Politehnica University, Timisoara, Romania, invited paper
Martin Proetzsch, Tobias Luksch, Karsten Berns
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Development of Complex Robotic Systems Using the Behavior-Based Control Architecture iB2C
in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 46--67, 2010, January, doi:10.1016/j.robot.2009.07.027
Martin Proetzsch, Fabian Zimmermann, Robert Eschbach, Johannes Kloos, Karsten Berns
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A Systematic Testing Approach for Autonomous Mobile Robots Using Domain-Specific Languages
KI 2010: Advances in Artificial Intelligence, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, vol. 6359, pp. 317-324, 2010
Martin Proetzsch
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Development Process for Complex Behavior-Based Robot Control Systems
Verlag Dr. Hut, 2010, http://www.dr.hut-verlag.de/978-3-86853-626-3.html

2009

Max Reichardt, Lisa Wilhelm, Martin Proetzsch, Karsten Berns
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Applications of Visualization Technology in Robotics Software Development
4th Human Computer Interaction and Visualization (HCIV) Workshop 2009, 2009, March~2, Kaiserslautern, Germany
Lisa Wilhelm, Martin Proetzsch, Karsten Berns
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Oscillation Analysis in Behavior-Based Robot Architectures
Autonome Mobile Systeme, Springer, pp. 121-128, 2009

2007

Martin Proetzsch, Tobias Luksch, Karsten Berns
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The Behaviour-Based Control Architecture iB2C for Complex Robotic Systems
Proceedings of the 30th Annual German Conference on Artificial Intelligence (KI), pp. 494--497, 2007, September 10-13, Osnabrück, Germany
Martin Proetzsch, Karsten Berns, T. Schuele, K. Schneider
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Formal Verification of Safety Behaviours of the Outdoor Robot RAVON
Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics (ICINCO 2007), INSTICC Press, pp. 157-164, 2007, May 9-12, Angers, France
M. Proetzsch, T. Luksch, K. Berns
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The Behaviour-Based Control Architecture iB2C for Complex Robotic Systems (extended version)
2007

2006

J. Albiez, T. Luksch, K. Berns, R. Dillmann
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A Behaviour Network Concept for Controlling Walking Machines
Adaptive Motion of Animals and Machines, Springer Verlag, pp. 237-244, 2006

2005

Bernd-Helge Schäfer, Martin Proetzsch, Karsten Berns
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Extension Approach for the Behaviour-Based Control System of the Outdoor Robot RAVON
Autonome Mobile Systeme, pp. 123-129, 2005, December 8-9, Stuttgart, Germany
M. Proetzsch, T. Luksch, K. Berns
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Fault-Tolerant Behavior-Based Motion Control for Offroad Navigation
Proceedings of the 20th IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pp. 4697-4702 , 2005, April 18-22, Barcelona, Spain

2004

M. Proetzsch, T. Luksch, K. Berns
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Behaviour-based Motion Control for Offroad Navigation
International Workshop on Humanitarian Demining (HUDEM), 2004, June 16-18, Brussels, Belgium
A. Halme, T. Luksch, S. Ylönen
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Biomimicing motion control of the WorkPartner robot
in Industrial Robot (IFR), vol. Vol. 31, no. 2, pp. pp.209-217, 2004

2003

T. Luksch, S. Ylönen, A. Halme
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Koordination von Lokomotion und Manipulatorbewegung des Roboters WorkPartner
Autonome Mobile Systeme (AMS), 2003, December 4-5, Karlsruhe
B. Gassmann, L. Frommberger, R. Dillmann, K. Berns
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Improving the walking behaviour of a legged robot using a three-dimensional environment model
6th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR), pp. 319-326, 2003, September 17-19, Catania, Italy
Tobias Luksch, Sami Ylönen, Aarne Halme
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Combined Motion Control of the Platform and the Manipulator of WorkPartner
6th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR), pp. 111--118, 2003, September 17-19, Catania, Italy
Jan Albiez, Tobias Luksch, Karsten Berns, Rüdiger Dillmann
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A Behaviour Network Concept for Controlling Walking Machines
2nd International Symposium on Adaptive Motion of Animals and Machines (AMAM), 2003, March 4-8, Kyoto, Japan
J. Albiez, T. Luksch, K. Berns, R. Dillmann
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Reactive reflex-based control for a four-legged walking machine
in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Elsevier, 2003
Jan Albiez, Tobias Luksch, Karsten Berns, Rüdiger Dillmann
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An Activation-Based Behavior Control Architecture for Walking Machines
in The International Journal on Robotics Research, Sage Publications, vol. 22, pp. 203-211, 2003