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Control problems such as multirobot control, distributed intelligence, swarm intelligence, distributed decision, distributed cognition, congestion control in networks, collective motion in biology, oscillator synchronization in physics, parallelization in optimization theory, distributed estimation, cooperative estimation, equilibria in economics, social interaction modeling, and game theory may be analyzed under the theory of interconnected dynamic systems. Those topics have several overlapping research communities; for that reason they are characterized by different definitions and a variety of approaches ranging from rigorous mathematical analysis to trial-and-error experimental study or emulation by observation of natural phenomena. The areas involved concern robotics, dynamic systems, computer science, signal theory, biology, economics, and mathematics. A shared taxonomy is missing; for example, dynamic systems can be identified in robots, agents, nodes, processors, and entities. An ensemble is called a group, network, platoon, swarm, team, and cluster, and the algorithms are defined as controllers, protocols, and dynamics. In the following, the term agent is used to denote the single dynamic system and network or collective the ensemble.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2013