Simple agents learn to find their way: An introduction on mapping polygons

Jérémie Chalopin, Shantanu Das, Yann Disser*, Matús Mihalák, Peter Widmayer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper gives an introduction to the problem of mapping simple polygons with autonomous agents. We focus on minimalistic agents that move from vertex to vertex along straight lines inside a polygon, using their sensors to gather local data at each vertex. Our attention revolves around the question whether a given configuration of sensors and movement capabilities of the agents allows them to capture enough data in order to draw conclusions regarding the global layout of the particular, we study the problem of reconstructing the visibility graph of a simple polygon by an agent moving either inside or on the boundary of the polygon. Our aim is to provide insight about the algorithmic challenges faced by an agent trying to map a polygon. We present an overview of techniques for solving this problem with agents that are equipped with simple sensorial capabilities. We illustrate these techniques on examples with sensors that measure angles between lines of sight or identify the previous location. We also give an overview over related problems in combinatorial geometry as well as graph exploration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1287-1307
Number of pages21
JournalDiscrete Applied Mathematics
Issue number10--11
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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