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Distributed Control of Networked Multi-agent Systems: Algorithms and Applications

Professor Wei Ren Webinar Presentation: Distributed Control of Networked Multi-agent Systems: Algorithms and Applications

Speaker: Dr. Wei Ren, University of California, Riverside

 Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015 | 12 p.m. CST







While autonomous agents that perform solo missions can yield significant benefits, greater efficiency and operational capability will be realized from teams of autonomous agents operating in a coordinated fashion. Potential applications for networked multiple autonomous agents include environmental monitoring, search and rescue, space-based interferometers, hazardous material handling, and combat, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems. Networked multi-agent systems place high demands on features such as low cost, high adaptivity and scalability, increased flexibility, great robustness, and easy maintenance. To meet these demands, the current trend is to design distributed control algorithms that rely on only local interaction to achieve global group behavior.

The purpose of this talk is to overview our recent research in distributed control of networked multi-agent systems. Theoretical results on distributed leaderless consensus with vehicle dynamics including first- and second-order linear dynamics, rigid body attitude dynamics, and Euler-Lagrange dynamics, distributed single-leader collective tracking with reduced interaction and partial measurements, distributed multi-leader containment control with local interaction, and distributed average tracking with multiple time-varying reference signals. Application examples in multi-vehicle cooperative control including rendezvous, formation keeping, and cooperative herding for wheeled mobile robots, UAV formation flying, deep space spacecraft attitude alignment, and synchronization of networked robotic arms will also be introduced.


Wei Ren is currently a Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Riverside. He received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, in 2004. From 2004 to 2005, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park. He was an Assistant Professor (2005-2010) and an Associate Professor (2010-2011) with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Utah State University. His research focuses on distributed control of multi-agent systems and autonomous control of unmanned vehicles. Dr. Ren is an author of two books "Distributed Coordination of Multi-agent Networks" (Springer-Verlag, 2011) and "Distributed Consensus in Multi-vehicle Cooperative Control" (Springer-Verlag, 2008). He was a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2008. He is currently an Associate Editor for Automatica, Systems and Control Letters, and IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems.