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This paper considers a group of mobile autonomous agents moving in the space with point mass dynamics and with asymmetric coupling matrix. We investigate the dynamic properties of the group for the case that the topology of the neighboring relations between agents varies with time. Under the assumption that the neighboring graphs are always connected, we show that stable flocking motion can be achieved by using a set of switching control laws. The control laws are a combination of attractive/repulsive and alignment forces. By using the control laws, all agent velocities become asymptotically the same, collisions can be avoided between the agents, and the final tight formation minimizes all agent potentials. Moreover, we show that the velocity of the center of mass is invariant and is equal to the final common velocity. Finally, we study the motion of the group when the velocity damping is taken into account. We prove that the common velocity asymptotically approaches zero. In this case, we can properly modify the control laws to generate the same stable flocking motion.
Date of Conference: 2-6 Aug. 2005