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Distributed coordination of multi-agent networks. Emergent problems, models, and issues. (English) Zbl 1225.93003
Communications and Control Engineering. London: Springer (ISBN 978-0-85729-168-4/hbk; 978-0-85729-169-1/ebook). xvii, 307 p. (2011).
This is a new volume in the series “Communications and Control Engineering” issued by Springer Verlag. The present series stems from the intimate connection between communication and control engineering. It is worth pointing out some features about the title of the book. Control Theory (CT) can be dated back to the beginning of the last century when the Wright brothers made their first flight in 1903. Subsequently, CT developed solving numerous problems encountered in practice. Its feature lies in the fact that a single system was taken into account. Over time, more and more new problems arose. It was found that a new approach should be taken into account instead of considering single systems only.
Two approaches appeared as possible candidates: the centralized approach, which is a direct extension of the traditional single-system methodology, and the distributed approach, which does not require the existence of a central station. This last approach has been intensively investigated. Such a (global) system can be conceived as an aggregate where its components act in a cooperative fashion. This point of view was motivated by the existence of the distributed computing and management sciences. A paper of Tsitsiklis in 1984 opened the era of what is now called Distributed Coordination of Multi-agent Networks (DCMaN). The present book is devoted to this new direction. Here the authors discuss the various forms in which DCMaN can be realized: consensus, distributed formation, optimization, distribution task assignment, estimation and control, and intelligent coordination. To get an idea of the topics included in the book, we give here the contents:
Part I. Preliminaries and literature review: 1. Preliminaries; 2. Overview of recent research in distributed multi-agent coordination. Part II. Emergent problems in distributed multi-agent coordination 3. Collective periodic motion coordination; 4. Collective tracking with a dynamic leader; 5. Containment control with multiple leaders. Part III. Emergent models in distributed multi-agent coordination, 6. Networked Lagrangian systems; 7. Networked fractional-order systems. Part IV. Emergent issues in distributed multi-agent coordination; 8. Sampled-data setting; 9. Optimality aspect; 10. Time delay. References. Index.
We point out that a DCMaN includes two basic parts: the set of individual (single) systems and the set of constraints, and the set of interconnections (materialized by a weighted graph). We would like to underline some of the essential features of the book: a) an excellent résumé of the mathematical results used in the book (with exact references to the sources); b) at the end of each chapter, there are Notes guiding the reader to further studies and giving the sources of the presented material; c) inclusion of many numerical examples and simulations; d) the presence of the sampled data setting which links the analog to the digital approach; e) an excellent up-to-date reference list, where most of the references belong to the authors. We conclude that the present volume represents an excellent exposition of the area of DCMaN.

MSC:
93-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to systems and control theory
93A14 Decentralized systems
94C15 Applications of graph theory to circuits and networks
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