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Consensus Computation in Unreliable Networks: A System Theoretic Approach

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3 Author(s)
Fabio Pasqualetti ; Center for Control, Dynamical Systems and Computation, University of California, Santa Barbara, United States of America ; Antonio Bicchi ; Francesco Bullo

This paper addresses the problem of ensuring trustworthy computation in a linear consensus network. A solution to this problem is relevant for several tasks in multi-agent systems including motion coordination, clock synchronization, and cooperative estimation. In a linear consensus network, we allow for the presence of misbehaving agents, whose behavior deviate from the nominal consensus evolution. We model misbehaviors as unknown and unmeasurable inputs affecting the network, and we cast the misbehavior detection and identification problem into an unknown-input system theoretic framework. We consider two extreme cases of misbehaving agents, namely faulty (non-colluding) and malicious (Byzantine) agents. First, we characterize the set of inputs that allow misbehaving agents to affect the consensus network while remaining undetected and/or unidentified from certain observing agents. Second, we provide worst-case bounds for the number of concurrent faulty or malicious agents that can be detected and identified. Precisely, the consensus network needs to be 2k+1 (resp. k+1) connected for k malicious (resp. faulty) agents to be generically detectable and identifiable by every well behaving agent. Third, we quantify the effect of undetectable inputs on the final consensus value. Fourth, we design three algorithms to detect and identify misbehaving agents. The first and the second algorithm apply fault detection techniques, and affords complete detection and identification if global knowledge of the network is available to each agent, at a high computational cost. The third algorithm is designed to exploit the presence in the network of weakly interconnected subparts, and provides local detection and identification of misbehaving agents whose behavior deviates more than a threshold, which is quantified in terms of the interconnection structure.

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IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control  (Volume:57 ,  Issue: 1 )