Networked and Distributed Systems and Control

Networked and distributed systems consist of a collection of dynamical subsystems with local control capability, interacting through a physical interconnection and a cyber (e.g. internet) communication. Examples include social networks, smart power grids, intelligent traffic networks, distributed computing systems, sensor networks, robotic swarms.

The dynamical behavior of such systems is complex, in the sense that it includes the dynamical evolution of a large number of subsystems, each depending on the local variables (e.g. states and inputs), the coupling with non-local variables, the networked (e.g. shared) information, the local and global utility functions (e.g. of economic nature), besides uncertain variables and inputs (e.g. renewable energy availability, market outcomes).

We develop tools to model, simulate and analyze the decision-making process of the subsystems, their physical and cyber interaction, the network dynamics and the emerging behavior of the overall system.We also develop control and optimization methodologies to steer networked and distributed systems toward efficient operation.