This paper is an exploration of the theory of autonomy as set out by Francisco J. Varela in his groundbreaking book, “Principles of Biological Autonomy.” Varela argues that autonomy is an expression of a pervasive circularity, or indeed complete organisational closure. This closure is seen as a necessary condition for recursively maintaining a system’s identity, or self. This paper applies these ideas to robotics in the quest for a theoretical understanding of robot autonomy as distinct from artificial-life and artificial-intelligence. Using directed-graph based descriptions of behaviour, we explore centrality measures of their topological properties that are consonant with autonomy.
Battle, S. (2018, April). Principles of robot autonomy. Paper presented at 2018 Convention of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB 2018)