Adaptive synchronization of unknown heterogeneous agents: An adaptive virtual model reference approach

Simone Baldi*, Paolo Frasca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


This work deals with state synchronization of heterogeneous linear agents with unknown dynamics. The problem is solved by formulating the synchronization problem as a special model reference adaptive control where each agent tries to converge to the model defined by its neighbors. For those agents that do not know the reference signal that drives the flock, a fictitious reference is estimated in place of the actual one: the estimation of such reference is distributed and requires measurements from neighbors. By using a matching condition assumption, which is imposed so that the agents can converge to the same behavior, the fictitious reference estimation leads to adaptive laws for the feedback and the coupling gains arising from distributed matching conditions. In addition, the coupling connection is not scalar as in most literature, but possibly vector-valued. The proposed approach is applicable to heterogeneous agents with arbitrarily large matched uncertainties. A Lyapunov-based approach is derived to show analytically asymptotic convergence of the synchronization error: robustification in the presence of bounded errors or unknown (constant) leader input is also discussed. Finally, a motivational example is presented in the context of Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control and numerical examples are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-955
JournalJournal of the Franklin Institute - Engineering and Applied Mathematics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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