Design of Multi-Agent System via Blended Dynamics Approach


Contrary to the average consensus, which means each state of multi-agent system converges to an average of individual initial conditions, we study a group behavior that obeys an "average of individual vector fields," which we call a blended dynamics. Under stability of the blended dynamics (not asking stability of individual agents), the behavior of heterogeneous multi-agent systems can be approximated by the solution to the blended dynamics. A following idea is to "design" the blended dynamics, from which individual heterogeneous multi-agents are assigned to different tasks. A few applications are discussed including distributed linear state estimation, estimation of the number of agents in a network, optimal power distribution of a smart-grid, robust synchronization of Van der Pol oscillators, and a distributed median solver. Since stability of the blended dynamics makes the initial conditions forgotten as time goes on, these algorithms are initialization-free and suitable for plug-and-play operation. At last, it is also emphasized that the obtained group behavior is robust to external disturbance and parametric variations in a certain sense.


Hyungbo Shim received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Seoul National University, Korea, and held the post-doc position at University of California, Santa Barbara till 2001. He joined Hanyang University, Seoul, in 2002. Since 2003, he has been with Seoul National University, Korea. He served as associate editor for Automatica, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Int. Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, and European Journal of Control, and as editor for Int. Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems. He is now the director of Engineering Research Center for Advanced Control & Instrumentation, Korea. His research interest includes stability analysis of nonlinear systems, observer design, disturbance observer technique, secure control systems, and synchronization for multi-agent system.