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Controllability of a Leader–Follower Dynamic Network With Switching Topology

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4 Author(s)
Bo Liu ; Dept. of Ind. Eng. & Manage., Peking Univ., Beijing ; Tianguang Chu ; Long Wang ; Guangming Xie

This note studies the controllability of a leader-follower network of dynamic agents linked via neighbor rules. The leader is a particular agent acting as an external input to steer the other member agents. Based on switched control system theory, we derive a simple controllability condition for the network with switching topology, which indicates that the controllability of the whole network does not need to rely on that of the network for every specific topology. This merit provides convenience and flexibility in design and application of multiagent networks. For the fixed topology case, we show that the network is uncontrollable whenever the leader has an unbiased action on every member, regardless of the connectivity of the members themselves. This gives new insight into the relation between the controllability and the connectivity of the leader-follower network. We also give a formula for formation control of the network.

Published in:

Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 4 )