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Leader-Following Coordination of Nonlinear Agents under Time-varying Communication Topologies

The paper deals with the problem of synchronizing the outputs of a set of nonlinear agents that exchange information through a time-varying communication network in a leaderfollower configuration. The dynamics of the individual followers may differ from each other and from that of the leader. The information exchange between the leader and (a limited fraction of) the followers as well as between neighboring followers only consists of the relative values of the output variables that are to be synchronized.

The theory of output regulation for nonlinear systems is used to design decentralized controllers embedding an internal model of the leader dynamics. Then, under mild connectivity hypotheses, it is shown how synchronization between the local control loops can be achieved.