Event Location

Cohesive Decentralized Networks

Santosh Devasia
Mechanical Engineering
University of Washington

Thursday, April 8, 2021 | 12:00 PM | Online
Robotics and Control Webinar

Zoom Link:
Password: 582252

“How a decentralized network gets to the goal (a consensus value) can be as important as reaching the consensus value. While prior methods focus on rapidly getting to a new consensus value, maintaining cohesion, during the transition between consensus values or during tracking, remains challenging and has not been addressed. Maintaining cohesion is important, e.g., to maintain inter-vehicle spacing in connected automated transportation systems, alignment synchronization to help maintain formations during maneuvers of flocks and swarms in nature, to avoid damage due to large deformations when transporting flexible objects and to maintain formation of engineered networks such as unmanned autonomous vehicles and collaborative robotic networks. The challenge to maintain cohesion arises because information about the desired response (such as the desired orientation or speed) might be available to only a few agents in a decentralized framework. The desired-response information needs to be propagated through the network to other agents, which results in response-time delays between agents that are “close to” the information source and those that are “farther away.” The talk will present a delayed self-reinforcement (DSR) approach, where each individual augments its neighbor-based information update using its previously available updates, to improve cohesiveness of the response during transitions. The advantages of the proposed DSR approach are that it only requires already-available information from a given network to improve the cohesion and does not require network-connectivity modifications (which might not be always feasible) nor increases in the system’s overall response speed (which can require larger input). Results are
presented that show substantial improvement in cohesion with DSR.” 

Santosh Devasia received the B.Tech. (Hons) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, in 1988, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering (ME) from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1990 and 1993 respectively. He is the Director of the Boeing Advanced Research Center (BARC) at the University of Washington (UW) and the faculty lead of the new Advanced Composite Center aimed at robotic manufacturing methods for emerging recyclable thermoplastic composites. He is the Nabtesco Professor of Engineering at the UW, Seattle. He joined the faculty of the UW Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department in 2000 after teaching from 1994 to 2000 in the ME Department at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. He served as the Associate Chair of the UW ME Department at UW from 2010-2013, and as the Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Affairs in the College of Engineering at UW from 2013-2017. He was the General Chair for the 2020 American Control Conference and will chair the 2023 Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics Conference in Seattle, WA. He is a fellow of ASME and IEEE. His current research interests include control of multi-agent systems and precision human-machine systems.