Date of this Version
Electronics 2019, 8, 569
Intelligent utilization of resources and improved mission performance in an autonomous agent require consideration of cyber and physical resources. The allocation of these resources becomes more complex when the system expands from one agent to multiple agents, and the control shifts from centralized to decentralized. Consensus is a distributed algorithm that lets multiple agents agree on a shared value, but typically does not leverage mobility. We propose a coupled consensus control strategy that co-regulates computation, communication frequency, and connectivity of the agents to achieve faster convergence times at lower communication rates and computational costs. In this strategy, agents move towards a common location to increase connectivity. Simultaneously, the communication frequency is increased when the shared state error between an agent and its connected neighbors is high. When the shared state converges (i.e., consensus is reached), the agents withdraw to the initial positions and the communication frequency is decreased. Convergence properties of our algorithm are demonstrated under the proposed co-regulated control algorithm. We evaluated the proposed approach through a new set of cyber-physical, multi-agent metrics and demonstrated our approach in a simulation of unmanned aircraft systems measuring temperatures at multiple sites. The results demonstrate that, compared with fixed-rate and event-triggered consensus algorithms, our co-regulation scheme can achieve improved performance with fewer resources, while maintaining high reactivity to changes in the environment and system.