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Distributed Consensus Algorithms and Their Applications in Multi-vehicle Cooperative Control

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1 Author(s)
Wei Ren ; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Utah State University, USA, Logan, UT 84341-4120. Phone: 435-797-2831, Fax: 435-797-3054, Email:

While autonomous vehicles that perform solo missions can yield significant benefits, greater efficiency and operational capability will be realized from teams of autonomous vehicles operating in a coordinated fashion. Potential applications for multiple autonomous vehicles include autonomous household appliances, hazardous material handling systems, distributed reconfigurable sensor networks, surveillance and reconnaissance, space-based interferometry, and future autonomous combat systems. To enable these applications, a variety of cooperative control capabilities need to be developed. These capabilities include formation control, rendezvous, attitude alignment, flocking, foraging, task and role assignment, payload transport, air traffic control, and cooperative search. Execution of these capabilities requires that individual vehicles share a consistent view of the objectives and the world. Information consensus guarantees that vehicles sharing information over a network topology have a consistent view of information that is critical to the coordination task. By necessity, consensus algorithms are designed to be distributed, assuming only neighbor-to-neighbor interaction between vehicles. Consensus algorithms have applications in rendezvous, formation control, flocking, attitude alignment, and sensor networks. The purpose of this workshop is overview the research of distributed consensus algorithms in cooperative control of multiple autonomous vehicles. The presenter has been actively involved in this area over the past several years. In particular, theoretical aspects of distributed consensus algorithms will be introduced. Application examples of distributed consensus algorithms in multi-vehicle cooperative control will also be presented.

Published in:

2007 International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation

Date of Conference:

5-8 Aug. 2007