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Fault-tolerant shortest connection topology design for formation control


This paper studies the fault tolerant formation keeping problem of multi-agent systems with consideration of shortest connection topology. This is motivated by the requirement of low communication cost which largely depends on the communication length. Given a formation shape, a connection topology design method and its reconfiguration strategy are proposed in the sense that the whole connection path is shortest despite of communication faults. A control framework that combines the individual formation controller of each agent and connection topology is further presented. The stability of the whole system process is analyzed by switched system theories. Simulation results of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) show the effectiveness of the proposed strategy.

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Correspondence to Bin Jiang.

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Recommended by Associate Editor Yingmin Jia under the direction of Editor Myotaeg Lim.

This work is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (61034005, 61104116, 61273171), Doctoral Fund of Ministry of Education of China (20113218110011), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (NE2014202) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through a Strategic Project Grant and a Discovery Project Grant.

Hao Yang received his Ph.D. degree in Automatic Control from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA), China and Universitíę de Lille 1: Sciences et Technologies, France, both in 2009. Since 2009, he joined College of Automation Engineering in NUAA, where he is currently an associate professor. He serves as Associate Editor for Nonlinear Analysis: Hybrid Systems. His research interest includes stability and fault tolerant control of switched and hybrid systems, multi-agent systems, supervisory control with their applications.

Bin Jiang obtained his Ph.D. degree in Automatic Control from Northeastern University, Shenyang, China, in 1995. He had ever been postdoctoral fellow, research fellow and visiting professor in Singapore, France, USA and Canada, respectively. Now he is a Chair Professor of Cheung Kong Scholar Program in Ministry of Education and Dean of College of Automation Engineering in Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China. He currently serves as Associate Editor or Editorial Board Member for a number of journals such as IEEE Trans. On Control Systems Technology; Int. J. of Control, Automation and Systems; Nonlinear Analysis: Hybrid Systems; Int. J. of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science; Acta Automatica Sinica; Journal of Astronautics. He is a senior member of IEEE, Chair of Control Systems Chapter in IEEE Nanjing Section, a member of IFAC Technical Committee on Fault Detection, Supervision, and Safety of Technical Processes. His research interests include fault diagnosis and fault tolerant control and their applications.

Youmin Zhang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the Concordia Institute of Aerospace Design and Innovation (CIADI) at the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science of Concordia University, Canada. His main research interests and experience are in the areas of condition monitoring, fault diagnosis and fault-tolerant (flight) control systems; cooperative guidance, navigation and control of unmanned aerial/ground/surface vehicles; dynamic systems modeling, estimation, identification and control; and advanced signal processing techniques for diagnosis, prognosis and health management of safety-critical systems, renewable energy systems and manufacturing processes. He has led and participated in several national and international research projects in China, Europe and North America, including NSFC, NSERC (Strategic, Discovery, and RTI grants), NASA Aviation Safety Program, and GARTEUR. He has published 4 books with co-authors, over 280 journal and conference papers. He serves as a member of the IFAC Technical Committee on Fault Detection, Supervision and Safety for Technical Processes (SAFE PROCESS), the Technical Committee on Chinese Fault Detection, Supervision and Safety for Technical Processes (Chinese SAFEPROCESS), the AIAA Infotech@Aerospace Program Committee (PC) on Unmanned Systems, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee (TC) on Aerial Robotics and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (ARUAV), the ASME/IEEE TC on Mechatronics and Embedded Systems and Applications (MESA), and a Member of ICUAS (International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Association Executive Committee. He is an Editorial Board Member and/or (Senior, Associate) Editor of 7 international journals and an Editor-in-Chief of one journal. He is a senior member of AIAA and IEEE, a member of AUVSI/USC, CASI, and CSME. Dr. Zhang is currently serving as a Program Chair of the 2014 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS 2014) to be held at Orlando, FL, USA during May 27–30, 2014 and the General Chair of The 10th International Conference on Intelligent Unmanned Systems (ICIUS 2014) to be held at Montreal, Quebec, Canada during September 29–October 1, 2014.

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Yang, H., Jiang, B. & Zhang, Y. Fault-tolerant shortest connection topology design for formation control. Int. J. Control Autom. Syst. 12, 29–36 (2014).

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  • Connection topology
  • fault tolerant control
  • formation control