A flocking algorithm for multi-agent systems with connectivity preservation under hybrid metric-topological interactions

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In this paper, we propose a connectivity-preserving flocking algorithm for multi-agent systems in which the neighbor set of each agent is determined by the hybrid metric-topological distance so that the interaction topology can be represented as the range-limited Delaunay graph, which combines the properties of the commonly used disk graph and Delaunay graph. As a result, the proposed flocking algorithm has the following advantages over the existing ones. First, range-limited Delaunay graph is sparser than the disk graph so that the information exchange among agents is reduced significantly. Second, some links irrelevant to the connectivity can be dynamically deleted during the evolution of the system. Thus, the proposed flocking algorithm is more flexible than existing algorithms, where links are not allowed to be disconnected once they are created. Finally, the multi-agent system spontaneously generates a regular quasi-lattice formation without imposing the constraint on the ratio of the sensing range of the agent to the desired distance between two adjacent agents. With the interaction topology induced by the hybrid distance, the proposed flocking algorithm can still be implemented in a distributed manner. We prove that the proposed flocking algorithm can steer the multi-agent system to a stable flocking motion, provided the initial interaction topology of multi-agent systems is connected and the hysteresis in link addition is smaller than a derived upper bound. The correctness and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm are verified by extensive numerical simulations, where the flocking algorithms based on the disk and Delaunay graph are compared.




He, C., Feng, Z., & Ren, Z. (2018). A flocking algorithm for multi-agent systems with connectivity preservation under hybrid metric-topological interactions. PLoS ONE, 13(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0192987

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