Distributed learning and cooperative control for multi-agent systems

Jongeun Choi, Songhwai Oh, Roberto Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an algorithm and analysis of distributed learning and cooperative control for a multi-agent system so that a global goal of the overall system can be achieved by locally acting agents. We consider a resource-constrained multi-agent system, in which each agent has limited capabilities in terms of sensing, computation, and communication. The proposed algorithm is executed by each agent independently to estimate an unknown field of interest from noisy measurements and to coordinate multiple agents in a distributed manner to discover peaks of the unknown field. Each mobile agent maintains its own local estimate of the field and updates the estimate using collective measurements from itself and nearby agents. Each agent then moves towards peaks of the field using the gradient of its estimated field while avoiding collision and maintaining communication connectivity. The proposed algorithm is based on a recursive spatial estimation of an unknown field. We show that the closed-loop dynamics of the proposed multi-agent system can be transformed into a form of a stochastic approximation algorithm and prove its convergence using Ljung's ordinary differential equation (ODE) approach. We also present extensive simulation results supporting our theoretical results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2802-2814
Number of pages13
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Jongeun Choi has been supported, in part, by Intramural Research Grants Program (IRGP) from Michigan State University and the National Science Foundation through CAREER Award CMMI-0846547.

Funding Information:
Songhwai Oh was in part supported by ARL Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology Collaborative Technology Alliance (W91INF-08-2-0004).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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