M16 – PARIS‐SACLAY 04/04/2016 – 08/04/2016

Distributed coordination of multi‐agent systems

Wei Ren
Dept. of Electrical & Computer Eng.
University of California, Riverside, USA

Abstract of the course

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 coordination algorithms that rely on only local interaction to achieve global group behavior. The objective of this course is to introduce some recent results in the field of distributed coordination of multi-agent systems. Topics covered include consensus seeking, motion coordination, distributed average tracking, and distributed estimation as well as their applications in multi-vehicle cooperative control (e.g., ground robots, UAVs, spacecraft, robotic arms, sensor networks).


1. Overview of recent research in multi-agent coordination and control
2. Distributed consensus in multi-agent systems (fundamental continuous- and discrete-time local averaging algorithms, consensus for agents with linear or nonlinear dynamics, applications)
3.Distributed motion coordination (periodic motion patterns, single-leader coordinated tracking, multi-leader multi-follower containment control)
4.Distributed average tracking of multiple time-varying references
5. Distributed estimation with multiple communicating sensors