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A Framework for Coordinated Control of Multiagent Systems and Its Applications

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4 Author(s)
Li, H. ; Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo ; Karray, F. ; Basir, O. ; Insop Song

In this paper, a framework is proposed for the distributed control and coordination of multiagent systems (MASs). In the proposed framework, the control of MASs is regarded as achieving decentralized control and coordination of agents. Each agent is modeled as a coordinated hybrid agent, which is composed of an intelligent coordination layer and a hybrid control layer. The intelligent coordination layer takes the coordination input, plant input, and workspace input. In the proposed framework, we describe the coordination mechanism in a domain-independent way, i.e., as simple abstract primitives in a coordination rule base for certain dependence relationships between the activities of different agents. The intelligent coordination layer deals with the planning, coordination, decision making, and computation of the agent. The hybrid control layer of the proposed framework takes the output of the intelligent coordination layer and generates discrete and continuous control signals to control the overall process. To verify the feasibility of the proposed framework, experiments for both heterogeneous and homogeneous MASs are implemented. The proposed framework is applied to a multicrane system, a multiple robot system, and a MAS consisting of an overhead crane, a mobile robot, and a robot manipulator. It is demonstrated that the proposed framework can model the three MASs. The agents in these systems are able to cooperate and coordinate to achieve a global goal. In addition, the stability of systems modeled using the proposed framework is also analyzed.

Published in:

Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 3 )