Decentralized Ergodic Control: Distribution-Driven Sensing and Exploration for Multiagent Systems

Ian Abraham*, Todd D. Murphey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We present a decentralized ergodic control policy for time-varying area coverage problems for multiple agents with nonlinear dynamics. Ergodic control allows us to specify distributions as objectives for area coverage problems for nonlinear robotic systems as a closed-form controller. We derive a variation to the ergodic control policy that can be used with consensus to enable a fully decentralized multiagent control policy. Examples are presented to illustrate the applicability of our method for multiagent terrain mapping as well as target localization. An analysis on ergodic policies as a Nash equilibrium is provided for game theoretic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2987-2994
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Distributed robot systems
  • reactive and sensor-based planning
  • sensor-based control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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