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Fall 2016 GRASP Seminar: Lorenzo Sabattini, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, “Towards Robust Multi-Robot Systems: Beyond Connectivity Maintenance”

December 16, 2016 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


In order to have collaboration in multi-robot systems, exchange of information among the nodes needs to be always allowed. This can be achieved guaranteeing preservation of the connectivity of the communication graph, as the system evolves. Being this a crucial requirement in multi-robot systems, this problem has been extensively addressed in the literature. Multi-robot systems are often claimed to be more robust than single robot solutions, due to their inherent redundancy. However, guaranteeing connectivity preservation does not imply avoidance of single points of failure: central nodes often exist, whose failure has the potential to completely destroy the connectivity of the overall network.
In this talk I will briefly summarize some common approaches to connectivity maintenance, and I will give some examples that show the fact that high connectivity does not necessarily imply high robustness.
I will then discuss some concepts of robustness that has been defined in the last few years, with respect to multi-robot systems. I will then focus on robustness in terms of connectivity preservation, describing an exact method for enforcing bi-connectivity, that is the presence of at least two independent paths between each pair of nodes in a network. This method is based on controlling the value of the third smallest eigenvalue of the Laplacian matrix: for this purpose, I will describe a strategy for achieving decentralized estimation of eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the Laplacian matrix. Finally, I will describe a heuristic approach that has been recently developed, that aims at improving the robustness in a multi-robot network, without requiring eigenvalue and eigenvector computation.


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Lorenzo Sabattini is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sciences and Methods for Engineering, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy (since 2012). He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Mechatronic Engineering from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy) in 2005 and 2007 respectively, and his Ph.D. in Control Systems and Operational Research from the University of Bologna (Italy) in 2012. In 2010 he has been a Visiting Researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD (USA). In 2012 he has been a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. His main research interests include multi-robot systems, decentralized estimation and control, and mobile robotics. He is one of the founding co-chairs of the IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Multi-Robot Systems: he has served as the corresponding co-chair since its foundation, in 2014.
Lorenzo has served as a Guest Editor for the Special Issue on Networked Cooperative Autonomous Systems of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE), in 2014. Since 2014, he has been appointed as Associate Editor for InTech IJARS (Topic: Mobile Robots and Multi-Robot Systems). Since 2015, he has been appointed as Associate Editor for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L). He has been serving as Associate Editor for IEEE ICRA 2015 and 2016, and IEEE/RSJ IROS 2015. He is member of the Program Committee of the IRMAS track of ACM/SIGAPP SAC 2015 and 2016, and of RSS 2015. He co-organized workshops on Multi-Robot Systems at IEEE ICRA 2013, ICRA 2014, IROS 2014, RSS 2015, IROS 2015 and a workshop on Robotics and Logistics at ERF 2014.


December 16, 2016
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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