EAGER: Ensemble Design of Resource-Aware Control Strategies for Multi-Agent Robotic Systems
Lead PI:
M. Ani Hsieh
This project, generalizing mean-field approaches from physics and chemistry for integrated design of scalable, network resource aware, distributed control strategies for multi-agent robotic systems, aims to develop macroscopic models that retain salient features of the underlying multi-agent robotic system and use these models in the design of distributed control strategies. For complex cyber physical systems, this promises to provide a novel design methodology that is potentially applicable to a large class of systems and, therefore, will result in foundational knowledge of use to the community at large. This high-risk, high-reward project integrates ideas from physics, chemistry, control theory, and robotics to develop new theoretical foundations for the design, validation, and improvement of coordination strategies for multi-agent robotic systems. The project's intellectual merit lies in the ensemble approach towards the design, validation, and improvement of cyber physical systems. Mean-field methods provide a system-level abstraction of the underlying distributed system while retaining the salient features of the various agent-level interactions. The generalization of these models to ensembles of interacting engineered systems provides new methods for designing distributed controllers that are sensitive to changing network resources and whose performance can be predicted and adjusted to achieve both the desired short-term and long-term performance specifications. Broader Impacts: The broader impacts of this project are twofold. First, the mean-field approach takes into account network resource usage and management, providing an integrated strategy for designing scalable decentralized control and coordination strategies. Second, different from biologically-inspired approaches, the mean-field approach enables the design of distributed coordination strategies whose performance can be systematically predicted and tuned to meet detailed performance specifications. This has the potential to unify various existing multi-agent coordination approaches. The research outcomes will be disseminated through publications in technical conferences and journals and incorporated into the PI's existing undergraduate and graduate curriculum and K-12 outreach efforts targeted at increasing female participation in STEM fields.
Performance Period: 09/01/2011 - 06/30/2014
Institution: Drexel University
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Award Number: 1143941