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Formations of robots, underwater vehicles and autonomous airborne vehicles are progressively being deployed to tackle problems of surveillance, bush fire control, and the like. Much formation behavior mimics the behavior of formations of living organisms, such as birds and fish. This paper reviews a number of concepts and results relevant to the design of control schemes and information architectures to maintain the shape of a formation of autonomous agents. The task of providing satisfactory sensing, communication and control architectures within a formation of autonomous agents is emphasized and elaborated in the paper. The paper provides a set of technical tools for characterizing and designing information architectures, which largely rest on graph theoretic considerations, as well as a control scheme exemplifying a class of decentralized controllers for maintaining the shape of a formation.