Large-scale multi-vehicle systems such as autonomous cars, swarms of aerial drones, and satellites flying in formation are at the forefront of industrial and academic research programs. The key engineering challenges in designing these systems from a control-theoretic perspective involve effective algorithms for coordination between individual vehicles. In this talk, we explore the consensus algorithm, a popular information-sharing protocol used in multi-vehicle coordination. We examine consensus on networks with cooperative and antagonistic interactions, and show how network symmetries and the distribution of antagonistic interactions leads to uncontrollability. When designing consensus networks, one performance criterion of interest is the H2 norm - a measure of how well the network rejects external disturbances. Using intuition from electrical network theory, we show how the H2 norm can be computed very efficiently on series-parallel networks, and how this computation can be repurposed for efficiently reweighting the network to optimize noise rejection. We also show how optimal transport techniques can be used to reason about controlling consensus in the presence of dynamically switching network topologies.
Mathias Hudoba de Badyn is a doctoral candidate at the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington. Mathias graduated in 2014 with a BSc.~in Physics and Mathematics from the University of British Columbia. He currently holds a doctoral postgraduate scholarship from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and was a recipient of the University of Washington College of Engineering Dean's Fellowship from 2014-2015. His research interests include the analysis and control of networked dynamical systems, with applications to autonomous air and space multi-vehicle systems.