Multi agent systems (mas), formation control, homogenous transformation, zero inter agent communication, local communication


In this thesis, new algorithms for formation control of multi agent systems (MAS) based on continuum mechanics principles will be investigated. For this purpose agents of the MAS are treated as particles in a continuum, evolving in an n-D space, whose desired configuration is required to satisfy an admissible deformation function. Considered is a specific class of mappings that is called homogenous where the Jacobian of the mapping is only a function of time and is not spatially varying. The primary objectives of this thesis are to develop the necessary theory and its validation via simulation on a mobile-agent based swarm test bed that includes two primary tasks: 1) homogenous transformation of MAS and 2) deployment of a random distribution of agents on to a desired configuration. Developed will be a framework based on homogenous transformations for the evolution of a MAS in an n-D space (n=1, 2, and 3), under two scenarios: 1) no inter-agent communication (predefined motion plan); and 2) local inter-agent communication. Additionally, homogenous transformations based on communication protocols will be used to deploy an arbitrary distribution of a MAS on to a desired curve. Homogenous transformation with no communication: A homogenous transformation of a MAS, evolving in an space, under zero inter agent communication is first considered. Here the homogenous mapping, is characterized by an n x n Jacobian matrix ( ) and an n x 1 rigid body displacement vector ( ), that are based on positions of n+1 agents of the MAS, called leader agents. The designed Jacobian ( ) and rigid body displacement vector ( ) are passed onto rest of the agents of the MAS, called followers, who will then use that information to update their positions under a pre- iv defined motion plan. Consequently, the motion of MAS will evolve as a homogenous transformation of the initial configuration without explicit communication among agents. Homogenous Transformation under Local Communication: We develop a framework for homogenous transformation of MAS, evolving in , under a local inter agent communication topology. Here we assume that some agents are the leaders, that are transformed homogenously in an n-D space. In addition, every follower agent of the MAS communicates with some local agents to update its position, in order to grasp the homogenous mapping that is prescribed by the leader agents. We show that some distance ratios that are assigned based on initial formation, if preserved, lead to asymptotic convergence of the initial formation to a final formation under a homogenous mapping. Deployment of a Random Distribution on a Desired Manifold: Deployment of agents of a MAS, moving in a plane, on to a desired curve, is a task that is considered as an application of the proposed approach. In particular, a 2-D MAS evolution problem is considered as two 1-D MAS evolution problems, where x or y coordinates of the position of all agents are modeled as points confined to move on a straight line. Then, for every coordinate of MAS evolution, bulk motion is controlled by two agents considered leaders that move independently, with rest of the follower agents motions evolving through each follower agent communicating with two adjacent agents.


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Graduation Date





Jayasuriya, Suhada


Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering; Mechanical Systems








Release Date

August 2013

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic