Importance of parameter settings on the benefits of robot-to-robot learning in evolutionary robotics

Jacqueline Heinerman*, Evert Haasdijk, A. E. Eiben

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Robot-to-robot learning, a specific case of social learning in robotics, enables multiple robots to share learned skills while completing a task. The literature offers various statements of its benefits. Robots using this type of social learning can reach a higher performance, an increased learning speed, or both, compared to robots using individual learning only. No general explanation has been advanced for the difference in observations, which make the results highly dependent on the particular system and parameter setting. In this paper, we perform a detailed analysis into the effects of robot-to-robot learning. As a result, we show that this type of social learning can reduce the sensitivity of the learning process to the choice of parameters in two ways. First, robot-to-robot learning can reduce the number of bad performing individuals in the population. Second, robot-to-robot learning can increase the chance of having a successful run, where success is defined as the presence of a high performing individual. Additionally, we show that robot-to-robot learning results in an increased learning speed for almost all parameter settings. Our results indicate that robot-to-robot learning is a powerful mechanism which leads to benefits in both performance and learning speed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers Robotics AI
Issue numberMARCH
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019


  • Evolutionary algorithms
  • Evolutionary robotics
  • Neural networks
  • Parameter tuning
  • Robot-to-robot learning
  • Social learning


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