Skip to main content
Thesis defences

PhD Oral Exam - Reza Babazadeh, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Distance-Based Formation Control of Multi-Agent Systems

Monday, December 6, 2021 (all day)

This event is free


School of Graduate Studies


Dolly Grewal



When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.

Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.


This PhD dissertation studies the distance-based formation control of multi-agent systems. A new approach to the distance-based formation control problem is proposed in this thesis. We formulated distance-based formation in a nonlinear optimal control framework and used the state-dependent Riccati equation (SDRE) technique as the primary tool for solving the optimal control problem. In general, a distance-based formation can be undirected, where distance constraints between pairs of agents are actively controlled by both adjacent agents, or directed, where just one of the neighboring agents is responsible for maintaining the desired distance. This thesis presents both, undirected and directed formations, and provides extensive simulations to verify the theoretical results.

For undirected topologies, we studied the formation control problem where we showed that the proposed control law results in the global asymptotic stability of the closed-loop system under certain conditions. The formation tracking problem was studied, and the uniform ultimate boundedness of the solutions is rigorously proven. The proposed method guarantees collision avoidance among neighboring agents and prevents depletion of the agents' energy. In the directed distance-based formation control case, we developed a distributed, hierarchical control scheme for a particular class of directed graphs, namely directed triangulated and trilateral Laman graphs. The proposed controller ensures the global asymptotic stability of the desired formation. Rigorous stability analyses are carried out in all cases. Moreover, we addressed the flip-ambiguity issue by using the signed area and signed volume constraints. Additionally, we introduced a performance index for a formation mission that can indicate the controller's overall performance.

We also studied the distance-based formation control of nonlinear agents. We proposed a method that can guarantee asymptotic stability of the distance-based formation for a broad category of nonlinear systems. Furthermore, we studied a distance-based formation control of uncertain nonlinear agents. Based on the combination of integral sliding mode control (ISMC) theory with the SDRE method, we developed a robust optimal formation control scheme that guarantees asymptotic stability of the desired distance-based formation in the presence of bounded uncertainties. We have shown that the proposed controller can compensate for the effect of uncertainties in individual agents on the overall formation.

Back to top Back to top

© Concordia University