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Dynamic Routing and Motion Coordination of Large-Scale Vehicle Networks

Emilio Frazzoli
Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Thursday, February 22, 2007

In this talk, we will address a class of problems requiring coordination of a number of mobile agents through a wireless communication network, in order to achieve dynamically-changing tasks over a region of interest. The agents are subject to differential and algebraic constraints on their motion including, for example, non-holonomic dynamics and collision avoidance constraints. Tasks are generated over time by an external source, modeled either as a stochastic or adversarial process.
We will present scalable, polynomial-time, distributed algorithms providing guaranteed approximations to optimal performance for several applications of current interest, including problems arising in UAV task assignment and routing, environmental monitoring, air/ ground traffic congestion control. Simulation and experimental results will be presented and discussed.
The proposed algorithms exploit in a novel way the interplay between the combinatorial and differential aspects of the problems at hand. Moreover, our results provide insight into how the performance and complexity characteristics of the system change as its dimension grows, both in terms of the number of agents, and of the number of tasks. Finally, we will discuss some of the implications of our results to a biological setting, including, for example, foraging strategies and territorial behavior.

Bio: Emilio Frazzoli is an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a Laurea degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Rome, ``La Sapienza", Italy, in 1994, and a Ph.~D. degree in Navigation and Control Systems from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 2001. Between 1994 and 1997 he worked as an officer in the Italian Navy, and as a spacecraft dynamics specialist for the European Space Agency in Darmstadt, Germany, and Telespazio, in Rome, Italy. From 2001 to 2004 he was an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 2004 to 2006 he was an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was the recipient of a NSF CAREER award in 2002.
Dr. Frazzoli's current research interests include algorithmic, computational and geometric approaches to the design and development of decision and control architectures for complex networked and autonomous systems, in aerospace and other domains. Application areas include distributed cooperative control of multiple vehicle systems, guidance and control of agile vehicles, high-confidence software engineering for high-performance dynamical systems, verification of hybrid systems.

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