SubsumptionArchitecture (ThoughtStorms)

Subsumption architecture was proposed by RodneyBrooks as an alternative to decomposition by function.

Also called BehaviouralDecomposition.

In the classical example, if I want to build a WallFollowingRobot I would expect to decompose my control system into the following parts.

Brooks thinks this kind of decomposition scales up badly, so proposes a different decomposition into layers of behaviour. Each layer of behaviour covers the whole robot including sensor, decision making and motor control functions. But the behaviours are limited by the circumstances where they are relevant and invoked and in the scope of what they are intended to achieve.

A behavioural decomposition of wall following might go like this.

Notes :

I guess the argument for subsumption is that it scales better because of cheaper communication costs between the behavioural modules than there would be between functional modules. Brooks has been trying to scale up his approach with the CogProject with some interesting results.


Any relation to :


Contrast the approach taken by the SemanticWeb


See also ModularityMistake, SystemsThinking


CategoryArtificialLife, CategoryArtificialIntelligence, CategoryRobots