On a hierarchical control strategy for multi-agent formation without reflection

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


This paper considers a formation shape control problem for point agents in a two-dimensional ambient space, where the control is distributed, is based on achieving desired distances between nominated agent pairs, and avoids the possibility of reflection ambiguities. This has potential applications for large-scale multi-agent systems having simple information exchange structure. One solution to this type of problem, applicable to formations with just three or four agents, was recently given by considering a potential function which consists of both distance error and signed triangle area terms. However, it seems to be challenging to apply it to formations with more than four agents. This paper shows a hierarchical control strategy which can be applicable to any number of agents based on the above type of potential function and a formation shaping incorporating a grouping of equilateral triangles, so that all controlled distances are in fact the same. A key analytical result and some numerical results are shown to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.


  • Toshiharu Sugie
  • Brian D.O. Anderson
  • Zhiyong Sun
  • Huichao Dong
External organisations
  • Kyoto University
  • Hangzhou Dianzi University
  • Australian National University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Control Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538613955
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 21
Publication categoryResearch
Event57th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2018 - Miami, United States
Duration: 2018 Dec 172018 Dec 19


Conference57th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2018
CountryUnited States