Biologically-Inspired Optimal Control via Intermittent Cooperation

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2004

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We investigate the solution of a large class of fixed-final-state optimal control problems by a group of cooperating dynamical systems. We present a pursuit-based algorithm -- inspired by the foraging behavior of ants -- that requires each system-member of the group to solve a finite number of optimization problems as it follows other members of the group from a starting to a final state. Our algorithm, termed "sampled local pursuit", is iterative and leads the group to a locally optimal solution, starting from an initial feasible trajectory. The proposed algorithm is broad in its applicability and generalizes previous results; it requires only short-range sensing and limited interactions between group members, and avoids the need for a "global map" of the environment or manifold on which the group evolves. We include simulations that illustrate the performance of our algorithm.

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