Sparsity-promoting optimal control for a class of distributed systems

Makan Fardad, Fu Lin, Mihailo R. Jovanović

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

101 Scopus citations


We consider a linear quadratic optimal control problem with an additional penalty on the number of communication links in the distributed controller. We reformulate this combinatorial optimization problem as a sequence of weighted ℓ1 problems, where the weighted ℓ1 norm approximates the counting of the communication links. We identify a class of systems for which the weighted ℓ1 problem can be formulated as a semidefinite program and therefore its solution can be computed efficiently. Application of the developed algorithm to the optimal control of vehicular formations reveals communication topologies that become sparser as the price of inter-vehicular communications is increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2011 American Control Conference, ACC 2011
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Sep 29 2011
Event2011 American Control Conference, ACC 2011 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 29 2011Jul 1 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Other2011 American Control Conference, ACC 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Communication architecture
  • convex optimization
  • reweighting
  • semidefinite program
  • sparsity-promoting optimal control
  • vehicular formations
  • ℓ minimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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