Leader selection problem for stochastically forced consensus networks based on matrix differentiation

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The leader selection problem refers to determining a predefined number of agents as leaders in order to minimize the mean-square deviation from consensus in stochastically forced networks. The original leader selection problem is formulated as a non-convex optimization problem where matrix variables are involved. By relaxing the constraints, a convex optimization model can be obtained. By introducing a chain rule of matrix differentiation, we can obtain the gradient of the cost function which consists matrix variables. We develop a “revisited projected gradient method” (RPGM) and a “probabilistic projected gradient method” (PPGM) to solve the two formulated convex and non-convex optimization problems, respectively. The convergence property of both methods is established. For convex optimization model, the global optimal solution can be achieved by RPGM, while for the original non-convex optimization model, a suboptimal solution is achieved by PPGM. Simulation results ranging from the synthetic to real-life networks are provided to show the effectiveness of RPGM and PPGM. This works will deepen the understanding of leader selection problems and enable applications in various real-life distributed control problems.




Gao, L., Zhao, G., Li, G., & Yang, Z. (2017). Leader selection problem for stochastically forced consensus networks based on matrix differentiation. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications, 469, 799–812. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physa.2016.11.111

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