Decentralized estimation and control of graph connectivity for mobile sensor networks

P. Yang, R. A. Freeman*, G. J. Gordon, K. M. Lynch, S. S. Srinivasa, R. Sukthankar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

321 Scopus citations


The ability of a robot team to reconfigure itself is useful in many applications: for metamorphic robots to change shape, for swarm motion towards a goal, for biological systems to avoid predators, or for mobile buoys to clean up oil spills. In many situations, auxiliary constraints, such as connectivity between team members or limits on the maximum hop-count, must be satisfied during reconfiguration. In this paper, we show that both the estimation and control of the graph connectivity can be accomplished in a decentralized manner. We describe a decentralized estimation procedure that allows each agent to track the algebraic connectivity of a time-varying graph. Based on this estimator, we further propose a decentralized gradient controller for each agent to maintain global connectivity during motion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-396
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Autonomous mobile robots
  • Connectivity
  • Decentralized control
  • Graph theory
  • Numerical algorithms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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