Directed Graph Topology Preservation in Multi-Robot Systems With Limited Field of View Using Control Barrier Functions

Filippo Bertoncelli, Vivek Radhakrishnan, Mattia Catellani, Giuseppe Loianno, Lorenzo Sabattini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper addresses the crucial challenge of maintaining the directed graph topology in multi-robot systems, particularly when operating under limited field-of-view constraints and with a lack of communication among robots. Traditional methods for multi-robot coordination rely heavily on inter-robot communication, which may not always be feasible, particularly in constrained or hostile environments. Our work presents a novel distributed control algorithm that leverages Control Barrier Functions (CBFs) to maintain the graph topology of a multi-robot system based solely on local, onboard sensor data. This approach is particularly beneficial in situations where external communication channels are disrupted or unavailable. The key contributions of this research are threefold: First, we design a novel control algorithm that efficiently maintains the graph topology in multi-robot systems using CBFs, which operate on neighbor detection data. Second, we perform an experimental evaluation of the algorithm, demonstrating its efficacy in controlling the flight of a team of drones using only local robot data. Third, we apply our methodology to a distributed coverage control scenario, showing that our approach can effectively manage a multi-robot system using only local information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9682-9690
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2024


  • Multi-robot systems
  • distributed robot systems
  • optimal control
  • topology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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