CDS Invited Lecture: Kevin Lynch, "Multi-Agent Coordination"

Friday, September 1, 2006
2:00 p.m.
2168 A.V. Williams Building
Pamela White
301 405 6576

Control and Dynamical Systems Invited Lecture Series

Multi-Agent Coordination by Decentralized Estimation and Control

Kevin Lynch
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Northwestern University

I will describe a framework for the design of collective behaviors for groups of identical mobile agents. The approach is based on decentralized simultaneous estimation and control, where each agent communicates with neighbors and estimates the global performance properties of the swarm needed to make a local control decision. Challenges of the approach include designing a control law with desired convergence properties, assuming each agent has perfect global knowledge; designing an estimator that allows each agent to make estimates of the global properties needed to implement the controller; and possibly modifying the controller to recover desired convergence properties when using estimates of global performance. I will describe this framework applied to two different problems, formation control and cooperative target localization.

The stability of networked mobile agents using decentralized estimate-and-control is not ensured by any simple separation principle. I will discuss how to derive small-gain conditions guaranteeing stability. These conditions are typically expressed as bounds on the aggressiveness of control gains as a function of the communication network. We believe such conditions are fundamental to a theory of decentralized cooperative control.

This is joint work with my student Peng Yang and my colleague Randy Freeman.

Kevin Lynch is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University. His research interests lie in robotics; mechanics, planning, and control of robotic manipulation (juggling, throwing, pushing, rolling, etc.); pattern formation and self-assembly in complex systems; motion planning and control for underactuated dynamic systems; motion planning for ergonomic human/robot collaboration; and industrial applications. He received his B.S. in Engineering from Princeton University and his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.

Host: P.S. Krishnaprasad

Audience: Public  Clark School  Graduate  Undergraduate  Faculty  Post-Docs  Alumni 

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