Control Communication Complexity of Distributed Actions

Wing Shing Wong, John Baillieul

Recent papers have treated {\em control communication complexity} in the context of information-based, multiple agent control systems including nonlinear systems of the type that have been studied in connection with quantum information processing. The present paper continues this line of investigation into a class of two-agent distributed control systems in which the agents cooperate in order to realize common goals that are determined via independent actions undertaken individually by the agents. A basic assumption is that the actions taken are unknown in advance to the other agent. These goals can be conveniently summarized in the form of a {\em target matrix}, whose entries are computed by the control system responding to the choices of inputs made by the two agents. We show how to realize such target matrices for a broad class of systems that possess an input-output mapping that is bilinear. One can classify control-communication strategies, known as {\em control protocols}, according to the amount of information sharing occurring between the two agents. Protocols that assume no information sharing on the inputs that each agent selects and protocols that allow sufficient information sharing for identifying the common goals are the two extreme cases. Control protocols will also be evaluated and compared in terms of cost functionals given by integrated quadratic functions of the control inputs. The minimal control cost of the two classes of control protocols are analyzed and compared. The difference in the control costs between the two classes reflects an inherent trade-off between communication complexity and control cost.

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