Stability of Open Multi-Agent Systems and Applications to Dynamic Consensus

Mauro Franceschelli, Paolo Frasca

In this technical note we consider a class of multi-agent network systems that we refer to as Open Multi-Agent Systems (OMAS): in these multi-agent systems, an indefinite number of agents may join or leave the network at any time. Focusing on discrete-time evolutions of scalar agents, we provide a novel theoretical framework to study the dynamical properties of OMAS: specifically, we propose a suitable notion of stability and derive sufficient conditions to ensure stability in this sense. These sufficient conditions regard the arrival/departure of an agent as a disturbance: consistently, they require the effect of arrivals/departures to be bounded (in a precise sense) and the OMAS to be contractive in the absence of arrivals/departures. In order to provide an example of application for this theory, we re-formulate the well-known Proportional Dynamic Consensus for Open Multi-Agent Systems and we characterize the stability properties of the resulting Open Proportional Dynamic Consensus algorithm.

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