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A Control-Theoretic Approach to Distributed Discrete-Valued Decision-Making in Networks of Sensing Agents
August 2006 (vol. 5 no. 8)
pp. 945-957
We address the problem of global sensor fusion for the purpose of distributed decision-making, from a control-theoretic perspective. In particular, we introduce a quasi-linear stochastic distributed protocol, using which a network of sensing agents can reach agreement in order to take a collective action. Using control-theoretic methods, we design the parameters of our protocol—which include weights in the local update rules used by the agents and a finite stopping time—to achieve agreement in a fair and rapid manner. We show analytically that the developed protocol achieves fair agreement with certainty in the noise-free case and achieves fair agreement with high probability even in the presence of communication noise and assuming very little information storage capability for the agents. Our development is illustrated throughout with a canonical example motivated by autonomous vehicle control.

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Index Terms:
Distributed algorithms, influence model, network control, agreement.
Sandip Roy, Kristin Herlugson, Ali Saberi, "A Control-Theoretic Approach to Distributed Discrete-Valued Decision-Making in Networks of Sensing Agents," IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 5, no. 8, pp. 945-957, Aug. 2006, doi:10.1109/TMC.2006.106
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