Nonlinear Multi-Agent Control with Application to Networked Systems

Abstract : The objective of this PhD thesis is (i) to investigate and develop methods for the analysis and design of linear and nonlinear networked control systems and (ii) to show the potential of such approaches in relevant complex applications. In this respect, multi-agent systems theory, algebraic graph theory and consensus are the most interesting methodological tools, and specific attention is paid to the characterization of the relationships between, on the one hand, the topology of the communication graph that underlies the evolution of the considered multiagent system and, on the other hand, the spectral properties of the Laplacian matrix associated with the graph itself. The control of a group of autonomous agents is investigated from different perspectives. The main control objective is to make sure that the agents work together in a cooperative fashion, where cooperation accounts for the close relationship among all agents in the team, with information sharing playing an important role. In particular, various problems regarding consensus/agreement/synchronization/rendezvous are investigated with the specific aim of driving a group of agents to some common state. Consensus is investigated in a discrete-time setting due to the fact that the system dynamics is normally continuous while the measurements and control inputs might only be made in a sampled-data setting. Moreover, game theory is relied upon in order to cope with distributed multi-agent coordination problems, with application to Software Defined Networks. In this respect, it can be shown that, under properly designed protocols, the players converge to a unique Wardrop equilibrium. We focus on distributed control, since this approach shows obvious benefits over centralization, such as scalability and robustness. Yet, it also has its own drawbacks: among all, one drawback is that each agent cannot effectively predict the overall group behaviour based on only local information. Some attention is also devoted to the need for securing power grids against the danger of cyber-physical attacks through the development of distributed intelligence technologies accompanied by appropriate security enforcements. In this respect, based on realistic power network topologies, we briefly present the design of a protection scheme against closed-loop single-point and multi-point dynamic load altering attacks. This is done by formulating and solving a non-convex optimization problem subject to a Lyapunov stability constraint for the autonomous multiagent representation of a power system obtained after linearization and application of the attack and frequency control laws. Eventually, we show some other results achieved in terms of the exact steeering of finite sampled nonlinear dynamics with input delays, of sampled-data stabilization and quasi-halo orbit following around the L₂ translunar libration point, and of heuristic algorithms based on multi-agent reinforcement learning methods capable of performing optimal adaptive Quality of Service/Quality of Experience control in model-free scenarios.
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Lorenzo Ricciardi Celsi. Nonlinear Multi-Agent Control with Application to Networked Systems. Automatic. Université Paris-Saclay; Università degli studi La Sapienza (Rome), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS017⟩. ⟨tel-01884411⟩

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