Résumé
Subsumption architecture is a reactive robotic architecture heavily associated with behavior-based robotics which was very popular in the 1980s and 90s. The term was introduced by Rodney Brooks and colleagues in 1986. Subsumption has been widely influential in autonomous robotics and elsewhere in real-time AI. Subsumption architecture is a control architecture that was proposed in opposition to traditional symbolic AI. Instead of guiding behavior by symbolic mental representations of the world, subsumption architecture couples sensory information to action selection in an intimate and bottom-up fashion. It does this by decomposing the complete behavior into sub-behaviors. These sub-behaviors are organized into a hierarchy of layers. Each layer implements a particular level of behavioral competence, and higher levels are able to subsume lower levels (= integrate/combine lower levels to a more comprehensive whole) in order to create viable behavior. For example, a robot's lowest layer could be "avoid an object". The second layer would be "wander around", which runs beneath the third layer "explore the world". Because a robot must have the ability to "avoid objects" in order to "wander around" effectively, the subsumption architecture creates a system in which the higher layers utilize the lower-level competencies. The layers, which all receive sensor-information, work in parallel and generate outputs. These outputs can be commands to actuators, or signals that suppress or inhibit other layers. Subsumption architecture attacks the problem of intelligence from a significantly different perspective than traditional AI. Disappointed with the performance of Shakey the robot and similar conscious mind representation-inspired projects, Rodney Brooks started creating robots based on a different notion of intelligence, resembling unconscious mind processes. Instead of modelling aspects of human intelligence via symbol manipulation, this approach is aimed at real-time interaction and viable responses to a dynamic lab or office environment.
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