Flocking Control Algorithms for Multiple Agents in Cluttered and Noisy Environments

  • Hung Manh La
  • Weihua Sheng
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 355)


Birds, bees, and fish often flock together in groups based on local information. Inspired by this natural phenomenon, flocking control algorithms are designed to coordinate the activities of multiple agents in cluttered and noisy environments, respectively. First, to allow agents to track and observe a target better in cluttered environments, an adaptive flocking control algorithm is proposed.With this algorithm, all agents can track the target better and maintain a similar formation and connectivity. Second, to deal with noisy measurements we proposed two flocking control algorithms, Multi-CoM-Shrink and Multi-CoM-Cohesion. Based on these algorithms, all agents can form a network and maintain connectivity, even with noisy measurements. We also investigate the stability and scalability of our algorithms. Simulations and real experiments are conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.


Flocking control multi-agent systems mobile sensor networks 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Tanner, H.G., Jadbabai, A., Pappas, G.J.: Flocking in fixed and switching networks. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control 52(5), 863–868 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Olfati-Saber, R.: Flocking for multi-agent dynamic systems: Algorithms and theory. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control 51(3), 401–420 (2006)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Reynolds, C.: Flocks, birds, and schools: A distributed behavioral model. In: Computer Graphics, ACM SIGGRAPH 1987 Conference Proceedings, Anaheim California, vol. 21(4), pp. 25–34 (1987)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Levine, H., Rappel, W.J., Cohen, I.: Self-organization in systems of self-propelled particles. Phys. Review. E. 63, 017101–017104 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mogilner, A., Edelstein-Keshet, L., Bent, L., Spiros, A.: Mutual interactions, potentials, and individual distance in a social aggregation. J. Math. Biol 47, 353–389 (2003)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Couzin, I.D., Krause, J., James, R., Ruxton, G.D., Franks, N.R.: Collective memory and spatial sorting in animal groups. J. Theor. Biol 218, 1–11 (2002)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Su, H., Wang, X., Lin, Z.: Flocking of multi–agents with a virtual leader. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control 54(2), 293–307 (2009)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Olfati-Saber, R.: Distributed tracking for mobile sensor networks with information driven mobility. In: Proceedings of the 2007 American Control Conference, pp. 4606–4612 (2007)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    La, H.M., Sheng, W.: Flocking control of a mobile sensor network to track and observe a moving target. In: Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ogren, P., Fiorelli, E., Leonard, N.E.: Cooperative control of mobile sensor networks: Adaptive gradient climbing in a distributed environment. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control 49(8), 1292–1302 (2006)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Olfati-Saber, R., Murray, R.M.: Consensus problems in networks of agents with switching topology and time–delays. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control 49(9), 1520–1533 (2004)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Olfati-Saber, R., Alex Fax, J., Murray, R.M.: Consensus and cooperative in networked multi-agent systems. Proceedings of the IEEE 95(1), 215–233 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Leonard, N.E., Fiorelli, E.: Virtual leaders, artificial potentials, and coordinated control of groups. In: Proceedings of the 40th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, pp. 2968–2973 (2001)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Liu, Y., Passino, K.M.: Stable social foraging swarms in a noisy environment. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control 49(1), 30–44 (2004)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
  16. 16.
    VICON motion system,

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hung Manh La
    • 1
  • Weihua Sheng
    • 1
  1. 1.The School of Electrical and Computer EngineeringOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

Personalised recommendations