Michael M. Zavlanos’ main research interests include a range of topics in the emerging discipline of networked systems (NS), which studies systems of physical agents interacting via a communication medium in search of  joint control principles that determine network behavior. His research focuses on robotic and sensor networks, with applications in formation flying, communication maintenance, or environmental monitoring and mapping, as well as on biological and social networks, whose structure and operations respectively determine the way in which many diseases are formed and information is spread. He is particularly interested in distributed and hybrid solution techniques, on the interface of control theory with the discrete science of networks and graphs.


Graph Theoretic Connectivity Control of Mobile Robot Networks

Communication and network connectivity has emerged as one of the most important and critical requirements in numerous cooperative tasks, such as formation stabilization and consensus seeking problems. While the agents’ primary task is typically detection of certain physical changes within their proximity, their communication capabilities enable them to share the individually collected data with their peers, in order to achieve a global coordinated objective. Consequently, network connectivity has become a critical design specification of a network and, due to its global nature, distributed solutions are rather hard to obtain. The focus of this research is on distributed and provable algorithms that maintain connectivity in networks with dynamically changing communication topologies.

Selected Publications:
[1] M. M. Zavlanos, M. B. Egerstedt, and G. J. Pappas. Graph Theoretic Connectivity Control of Mobile Robot Networks. Proceedings of the IEEE: Special Issue on Swarming in Natural and Engineered Systems, Vol. 99, No. 9, pp. 1525-1540, September 2011.
[2] M. M. Zavlanos and G. J. Pappas. Distributed Connectivity Control of Mobile Networks. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 24, No. 6, pp. 1416-1428, December 2008.

Distributed Multi-Robot Assignment and Placement

A fundamental yet poorly understood problem in multi-agent coordination is the assignment of multiple tasks to multiple agents. Most existing approaches decouple the assignment process from the execution process that follows any choice of task assignment. Despite the enormous combinatorial complexity of static, discrete assignment problems, in highly unpredictable environments, where the number of targets and agents dynamically change, dynamic assignment methods are clearly much more preferable. In addition to role assignment being dynamic, ideally one would also desire distributed coordination protocols for task assignment, as the best feasible way for addressing the computational complexity of the problem. The focus of this research is on distributed coordination algorithms for task assignment.

Selected Publications:
[1] M. M. Zavlanos, L. Spesivtsev, and G. J. Pappas. A Distributed Auction Algorithm for the Assignment Problem. Proc. 47th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, Cancun, Mexico, December 2008, pp. 1212-1217.
[2] M. M. Zavlanos and G. J. Pappas. Dynamic Assignment in Distributed Motion Planning with Local Coordination. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 232-242, February 2008.


Michael M. Zavlanos    |    Last Update 03.21.2014

Past Projects

Michael M. Zavlanos

Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

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