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Distributed consensus in multi-vehicle cooperative control. Theory and applications. (English) Zbl 1144.93002
Communications and Control Engineering. London: Springer (ISBN 978-1-84800-014-8/hbk). xv, 319 p. (2008).
Cooperative control of multiple vehicle systems has potential impact in numerous civilian, homeland security, and military applications. Potential civilian applications include monitoring forest fires, oil fields, pipelines and tracking wildlife. Potential homeland security applications include border patrol and monitoring the perimeter of nuclear power plants. For the military, applications include surveillance, reconnaissance, and battle damage assessment. However, for all of these applications communication bandwidth and power constraints will preclude centralized command and control.
This book addresses the problem of information consensus, where a team of vehicles must communicate with its neighbors to agree on key pieces of information that enable them to work together in a coordinated fashion. The problem is particularly challenging because communication channels have limited range and experience fading and dropout. The study of information flow and sharing among multiple vehicles in a group plays an important role in understanding the coordinated movements of these vehicles. As a result, a critical problem for cooperative control is to design appropriate distributed algorithms such that the group of vehicles can reach consensus on the shared information in the presence of limited and unreliable information exchange and dynamically changing interaction topologies.
The present monograph is roughly divided into two parts. In the first half of the book (Chapters 1–7), the authors describe theoretical results on distributed consensus algorithms where the dynamics of the information state evolve according to first- and second-order dynamics and according to rigid body attitude dynamics. The consensus algorithms require only neighbor-to-neighbor interaction, which minimizes power consumption, increases stealth, and improves the scalability and robustness of the team. The second half of the book (Chapters 8–14) describes authors attempts to apply the theory to a variety of applications in cooperative control, including formation keeping for wheeled mobile robots and spacecraft and cooperative perimeter tracking and timing for a team of unmanned air vehicles. The authors maintain a website http://www.engineering.usu.edu/ece/faculty/wren/book/consensus at which can be found sample simulation and experimental videos and other useful materials associated with the book.

MSC:
93-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to systems and control theory
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