Finally our paper
was accepted for publication as regular paper in Automatica.
Lee, Jin Gyu; Trenn, Stephan; Shim, Hyungbo
In: Automatica, 2022, (to appear).
In this paper, we introduce a nonlinear time-varying coupling law, which can be designed in a fully decentralized manner and achieves approximate synchronization with arbitrary precision, under only mild assumptions on the individual vector fields and the underlying (undirected) graph structure. The proposed coupling law is motivated by the so-called funnel control method studied in adaptive control under the observation that arbitrary precision synchronization can be achieved for heterogeneous multi-agent systems by a high-gain coupling; consequently we call our novel synchronization method ‘(node-wise) funnel coupling.’ By adjusting the conventional proof technique in the funnel control study, we are even able to obtain asymptotic synchronization with the same funnel coupling law. Moreover, the emergent collective behavior that arises for a heterogeneous multi-agent system when enforcing arbitrary precision synchronization by the proposed funnel coupling law, is analyzed in this paper. In particular, we introduce a single scalar dynamics called ‘emergent dynamics’ which describes the emergent synchronized behavior of the multi-agent system under funnel coupling. Characterization of the emergent dynamics is important because, for instance, one can design the emergent dynamics first such that the solution trajectory behaves as desired, and then, provide a design guideline to each agent so that the constructed vector fields yield the desired emergent dynamics. We illustrate this idea via the example of a distributed median solver based on funnel coupling.