Plenary lectures

The organizers are proud to announce the following plenary lectures at ECC16.

Network of Systems and Society: Performance and Risk Tradeoffs

Munther Dahleh Munther Dahleh
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Wednesday, June 29, 08:30 – 09:30
Hal Ost

Abstract: The emergence of large networked systems has brought about new challenges to researchers and practitioners alike. While such systems perform well under normal operations, they can exhibit fragility in response to certain disruptions that may lead to catastrophic cascades of failures. This phenomenon, sometimes referred to as systemic risk, emphasizes the role of the system interconnection in causing such, possibly rare, events. The flash crash of 2010, the financial crisis of 2008, the New England power outage of 2003, or simply extensive delays in air travel, are just a few of many examples of fragility and systemic risk present in complex interconnected systems.

In this talk I will discuss this emerging area for critical infrastructures. Such applications involve the interaction between physical systems and social networks. I will present simplified dynamic models from transportation systems and the power grid that highlight how such interactions impact fragility/resilience. I argue that co-design of both control strategies at the physical layer and incentive mechanism at the social layer is necessary to prevent fragility and systemic failures.

Biography: Professor Dahleh is Director of the Engineering Systems Division at MIT and interim Associate Director of MIT's Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems. He spent the spring of 1993 as a visiting professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, California Institute of Technology and has held consulting positions with several companies in the U.S. and abroad. Professor Dahleh is internationally known for his fundamental contributions to robust control theory, computational methods for controller design, the interplay between information and control, the fundamental limits of learning and decision in net-worked systems, and the detection and mitigation of systemic risk in interconnected and networked systems.

Networked Control Challenges in Collaborative Road Freight Transport

Karl H. Johansson Karl Henrik Johansson
Royal Institute of Technology

Thursday, June 30, 08:30 – 09:30
Hal Ost

Abstract: Freight transport is of major importance for the European economy and is growing thanks to increasing global trade. About three quarters of inland freight transport in the European Union is on roads. It has the potential to go through a dramatic change over the next decades thanks to the recent development of technologies such as wireless communication, cloud computing, sensor devices, and vehicle electronics.They enable a new integrated goods transport system based on optimized logistics, real-time traffic information, vehicular communications, collaborative driving, and autonomous vehicles. In this paper, we discuss challenges in creating a more efficient and sustainable goods road transportation system and how some of them can be tackled with a networked control approach. In particular, we discuss a method to improve the efficiency of the transportation system by minimizing the number of empty transports needed to fulfill the assignments on a given road network. Assignments with overlapping route segments might lead to further improvements, as the formation of vehicle platoons yields reduced fuel consumption. For realistic scenarios, it is shown that such collaboration opportunities arise already with relatively few vehicles. The fuel- efficient formation and control of platoons is also discussed. Some of the presented methods have been tested on real vehicles in traffic. The presentation shows experimental results on automatic formation of vehicle platoons on a Swedish highway. The influence of traffic density on the merge maneuver is illustrated. The results indicate that platoon coordination could be improved by support from appropriate traffic monitoring technologies.

Bibliography: Professor Johansson is Director of the ACCESS Linnaeus Centre and Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. He is a Wallenberg Scholar and has held a six-year Senior Researcher Position with the Swedish Research Council. He is also heading the Stockholm Strategic Research Area ICT The Next Generation. He is currently on the Editorial Board of IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems and the European Journal of Control. He has received several Young Researcher awards and is a Fellow of the IEEE.

An Evolutionary Approach to Coordination of Self-Interested Agents

Ming Cao EUCA Prize Winner Plenary Lecture

Ming Cao
University of Groningen
The Netherlands

Thursday, June 30, 08:30 – 09:30
Hal Ost

Abstract: From mobile robot and smart sensor networks, distributed energy grids, intelligent transportation systems, to an increasingly internet-based society and economy, we are moving ever towards a world full of interacting autonomous agents, making decisions that have complex effects on themselves and their surrounding networks. These decisions are often based on individual goals which may conflict with the greater interests of the group, resulting in counterintuitive outcomes and social dilemmas. In this talk, we model such collective decision-making dynamics as development of evolutionary games on networks. The nodes of the network are the players and the edges indicate two-player repeated games between neighboring agents. We then perform global convergence analysis for the resulted continuous- or discrete-time dynamical systems to identify under what conditions the agents converge to sub-optimal global states. More importantly, we propose ways to introduce local incentive or manipulation to some agents in order to drive the population to some desired global state, towards optimal control of evolutionary games on networks and ultimately resolving social dilemmas in large populations of interacting self-interested agents.

Bibliography: Ming Cao is currently an associate professor of network analysis and control with the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, where he started as an assistant professor in 2008. He received the Bachelor degree in 1999 and the Master degree in 2002 from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and the PhD degree in 2007 from Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA, all in electrical engineering. From September 2007 to August 2008, he was a postdoctoral research associate with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA. He worked as a research intern during the summer of 2006 with the Mathematical Sciences Department at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, NY, USA. He is an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, Systems and Control Letters, and for the Conference Editorial Board of the IEEE Control Systems Society. He is also a member of the IFAC Technical Committee on Networked Systems. His main research interest is in multi- agent systems, autonomous robots, mobile sensor networks and complex networks.