GENERALIZED DISTRIBUTED CONSENSUS-BASED ALGORITHMS FOR UNCERTAIN SYSTEMS AND NETWORKS
Baras, John S
Martins, Nuno C
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We address four problems related to multi-agent optimization, filtering and agreement. First, we investigate collaborative optimization of an objective function expressed as a sum of local convex functions, when the agents make decisions in a distributed manner using local information, while the communication topology used to exchange messages and information is modeled by a graph-valued random process, assumed independent and identically distributed. Specifically, we study the performance of the consensusbased multi-agent distributed subgradient method and show how it depends on the probability distribution of the random graph. For the case of a constant stepsize, we first give an upper bound on the difference between the objective function, evaluated at the agents' estimates of the optimal decision vector, and the optimal value. In addition, for a particular class of convex functions, we give an upper bound on the distances between the agents' estimates of the optimal decision vector and the minimizer and we provide the rate of convergence to zero of the time varying component of the aforementioned upper bound. The addressed metrics are evaluated via their expected values. As an application, we show how the distributed optimization algorithm can be used to perform collaborative system identification and provide numerical experiments under the randomized and broadcast gossip protocols. Second, we generalize the asymptotic consensus problem to convex metric spaces. Under minimal connectivity assumptions, we show that if at each iteration an agent updates its state by choosing a point from a particular subset of the generalized convex hull generated by the agents current state and the states of its neighbors, then agreement is achieved asymptotically. In addition, we give bounds on the distance between the consensus point(s) and the initial values of the agents. As an application example, we introduce a probabilistic algorithm for reaching consensus of opinion and show that it in fact fits our general framework. Third, we discuss the linear asymptotic consensus problem for a network of dynamic agents whose communication network is modeled by a randomly switching graph. The switching is determined by a finite state, Markov process, each topology corresponding to a state of the process. We address both the cases where the dynamics of the agents are expressed in continuous and discrete time. We show that, if the consensus matrices are doubly stochastic, average consensus is achieved in the mean square and almost sure senses if and only if the graph resulting from the union of graphs corresponding to the states of the Markov process is strongly connected. Fourth, we address the consensus-based distributed linear filtering problem, where a discrete time, linear stochastic process is observed by a network of sensors. We assume that the consensus weights are known and we first provide sufficient conditions under which the stochastic process is detectable, i.e. for a specific choice of consensus weights there exists a set of filtering gains such that the dynamics of the estimation errors (without noise) are asymptotically stable. Next, we develop a distributed, sub-optimal filtering scheme based on minimizing an upper bound on a quadratic filtering cost. In the stationary case, we provide sufficient conditions under which this scheme converges; conditions expressed in terms of the convergence properties of a set of coupled Riccati equations. We continue by presenting a connection between the consensus-based distributed linear filter and the optimal linear filter of a Markovian jump linear system, appropriately defined. More specifically, we show that if the Markovian jump linear system is (mean square) detectable, then the stochastic process is detectable under the consensus-based distributed linear filtering scheme. We also show that the optimal gains of a linear filter for estimating the state of a Markovian jump linear system, appropriately defined, can be used to approximate the optimal gains of the consensus-based linear filter.