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PhD ceremony Ms. H. Liu: Cooperative control in complex multi-agent networks facing information constraints

When:Tu 03-12-2013 at 09:00
Where:Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

PhD ceremony: Ms. H. Liu

Dissertation: Cooperative control in complex multi-agent networks facing information constraints

Promotor(s): prof. M. Cao, prof. J.M.A. Scherpen

Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences

In the past two decades, cooperative control of complex multi-agent networks has attracted great attention from researchers from diverse fields including engineering, biology, social science, and economics. A central topic is to coordinate in a distributed fashion the agents in the whole network only using information that is available to each agent locally. The adjustments of each agent's individual behavior in response to their neighbors’ may lead to desired collective behaviors in the network level. Along this line, the focus of this thesis is to control cooperatively complex multi-agent networks facing information constraints, such as quantized information, uncertainties in agents’ dynamics, and local knowledge about the networks' topologies.

First, we study how quantized sensing information affects the collective motion of teams of mobile agents when they try to synchronize their velocities or converge to a desired formation. For the former, we look into quantization effects on the performances of consensus-type algorithms for agents governed by second-order dynamics, and for the latter, we investigate how coarse quantization affects the performances of the popular gradient-based formation-control strategies. Second, we study how to deal with heterogeneities in agent dynamics in order to synchronize networks of coupled agents whose dynamics cannot be modeled precisely. In the end, we propose new strategies to allocate coupling strengths for coupled oscillators using the information about the local network topology to guarantee the global synchronization under the standard assumption about the pairwise synchronizability of any two coupled oscillators.

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