Output containment control of heterogeneous multi-agent systems with leaders of bounded inputs: An adaptive finite-time observer approach

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In this paper, we address the problem of output containment control of general linear multi-agent systems (MASs). The MAS under consideration is comprised by multiple followers and multiple leaders, all with heterogeneous dynamics. In particular, the leaders’ dynamics are subject to heterogeneous non-zero (possibly persistent) but bounded inputs, which are not measurable for any follower agent, making the associated distributed control design problem rather challenging. A new distributed observer-based containment control protocol is proposed to overcome associated challenges. It consists of two hierarchical layers including (i) the first layer of adaptive finite-time cooperative observer responsible for estimating the convex-hull signals formed by multiple leaders’ states through inter-agent collaboration; and (ii) the second layer of distributed state-feedback controller responsible for local tracking control through a modified output regulation technique. Important novelties of the proposed protocol are that (i) it deals with MASs with not only heterogeneous followers but also heterogeneous leaders; (ii) exact output containment control performance can be achieved in the presence of unmeasurable leaders’ inputs and unknown connectivity of communication network; and (iii) associated solvability conditions are formulated as linear matrix inequalities plus linear algebraic equations, which can be tested and solved effectively via efficient semi-definite programming. The developed theoretical results are demonstrated both rigorously using Lyapunov methods and through numerical simulations.

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Journal of the Franklin Institute