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A distributed coordinated tracking problem is solved via a variable structure approach when there exists a dynamic virtual leader who is a neighbor of only a subset of a group of followers, all followers have only local interaction, and only partial measurements of the states of the virtual leader and the followers are available. In the context of coordinated tracking, we focus on both consensus tracking and swarm tracking algorithms. In the case of first-order kinematics, we propose a distributed consensus tracking algorithm without velocity measurements under both fixed and switching network topologies. In particular, we show that distributed consensus tracking can be achieved in finite time. The algorithm is then extended to achieve distributed swarm tracking without velocity measurements. In the case of second-order dynamics, we first propose two distributed consensus tracking algorithms without acceleration measurements when the velocity of the virtual leader is varying under, respectively, a fixed and switching network topology. In particular, we show that the proposed algorithms guarantee at least global exponential tracking. We then propose a distributed consensus tracking algorithm and a distributed swarm tracking algorithm when the velocity of the virtual leader is constant. When the velocity of the virtual leader is varying, distributed swarm tracking is solved by using a distributed estimator. For distributed consensus tracking, a mild connectivity requirement is proposed by adopting an adaptive connectivity maintenance mechanism in which the adjacency matrix is defined in a proper way. Similarly, a mild connectivity requirement is proposed for distributed swarm tracking by adopting a connectivity maintenance mechanism in which the potential function is defined in a proper way. Several simulation examples are presented as a proof of concept.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2012