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Generalized Distributed Consensus-based Algorithms for Uncertain Systems and Networks

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Doctoral thesis

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We address four problems related to multi-agent optimization, filtering and agreement. First, we investigate collaborative optimization of an objective function expressed as a sum of local convex functions, when the agents make decisions in a distributed manner using local information, while the communication topology used to exchange messages and information is modeled by a graph-valued random process, assumed independent and identically distributed. Specifically, we study the performance of the consensusbased multi-agent distributed subgradient method and show how it depends on the probability distribution of the random graph. For the case of a constant stepsize, we first give an upper bound on the difference between the objective function, evaluated at the agents--estimates of the optimal decision vector, and the optimal value. In addition, for a particular class of convex functions, we give an upper bound on the distances between the agents-- estimates of the optimal decision vector and the minimizer and we provide the rate of convergence to zero of the time varying component of the aforementioned upper bound. The addressed metrics are evaluated via their expected values. As an application we show how the distributed optimization algorithm can be used to perform collaborative system identification and provide numerical experiments under the randomized and broadcast gossip protocols. Second, we generalize the asymptotic consensus problem to convex metric spaces. Under minimal connectivity assumptions, we show that if at each iteration an agent updates its state by choosing a point from a particular subset of the generalized convex hull generated by the agents current state and the states of its neighbors, then agreement is achieved asymptotically. In addition, we give bounds on the distance between the consensus points and the initial values of the agents.

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  • Operations Research
  • Computer Programming and Software

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