Parallel Feedforward Compensation for Output Synchronization: Fully Distributed Control and Indefinite Laplacian

Li, Mengmou 
Lestas, Ioannis 
Qiu, Li 

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This work is associated with the use of parallel feedforward compensators (PFCs) for the problem of output synchronization over heterogeneous agents and the benefits this approach can provide. Specifically, it addresses the addition of stable PFCs on agents that interact with each other using diffusive couplings. The value in the application of such PFC is twofold. Firstly, it has been an issue that output synchronization among passivity-short systems requires global information for the design of controllers in the cases when initial conditions need to be taken into account, such as average consensus and distributed optimization. We show that a stable PFC can be designed to passivate a passivity-short system while its output asymptotically vanishes as its input tends to zero. As a result, output synchronization is achieved among these systems by fully distributed controls without ltering the original consensus results. Sec- ondly, in the literature of output synchronization over signed weighted graphs, it is generally required that the graph Laplacian be positive semidefinite, i.e., L ≥ 0 for undirected graphs or L + L^T ≥ 0 for balanced directed graphs. We show that the PFC serves as output feedback to the communication graph to enhance the robustness against negative weight edges. As a result, output synchronization is achieved over a signed weighted and balanced graph, even if the corresponding Laplacian is not positive semidefinite.

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Systems and Control Letters
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European Research Council (679774)
ERC starting grant 679774