Controllability of Networked Systems from a Graph-Theoretic Perspective

Magnus Egerstedt, Georgia Institute of Technology

Presentation Egerstedt

Abstract. Arguably, the overarching scientific challenge facing the area of networked robot systems is that of going from local rules to global behaviors in a predefined and stable manner. In particular, issues stemming from the network topology imply that not only must the individual agents satisfy some performance constraints in terms of their geometry, but also in terms of the combinatorial description of the network. Moreover, a multi-agent robotic network is only useful inasmuch as the agents can be redeployed and reprogrammed with relative ease, and we address these two issues (local interactions and programmability) from a controllability point-of-view. In particular, the problem of driving a collection of mobile robots to a given target destination is studied, and sufficient conditions are given for this to be possible, based on novel tools from algebraic graph theory. The main result will be a necessary and sufficient condition for an interaction topology to be controllable given in terms of the network's external, equitable partitions.

Biography. Magnus B. Egerstedt was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and is an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he has been on the faculty since 2001. He holds an adjunct appointment in the Division of Interactive and Intelligent Computing with the College of Computing at Georgia Tech and a visiting position with the School of Computer Science and Communication at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Egerstedt received the M.S. degree in engineering physics and the Ph.D. degree in applied mathematics from the Royal Institute of Technology in 1996 and 2000 respectively. He also received a B.A. degree in philosophy from Stockholm University in 1996. He spent 2000-2001 as a postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University. Dr. Egerstedt's research interests include optimal control as well as modeling and analysis of hybrid and discrete event systems, with emphasis on motion planning, control, and coordination of teams of mobile robots, and he has authored over 100 papers in the areas of robotics and control, and he serves as an associate editor for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine and the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control. He is the director of the Georgia Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory (GRITS Lab) and the associate director of Research at Georgia Tech's Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines. Dr. Egerstedt is a senior member of the IEEE, and he received the ECE/GT Outstanding Junior Faculty Member Award in 2005 and the CAREER award from the U.S. National Science Foundation in 2003.