Distributed output-feedback control of nonlinear multi-agent systems

Tengfei Liu, Zhong Ping Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This technical note presents a cyclic-small-gain approach to distributed output-feedback control of nonlinear multi-agent systems. Through novel distributed observer and control law designs, the closed-loop multi-agent system is transformed into a large-scale system composed of input-to-output stable (IOS) subsystems, the IOS gains of which can be appropriately designed. By guaranteeing the IOS of the closed-loop multi-agent system with the recently developed cyclic-small-gain theorem, the outputs of the controlled agents can be driven to within an arbitrarily small neighborhood of the desired agreement value under bounded external disturbances. Moreover, if the system is disturbance-free, then asymptotic convergence can be achieved. Interestingly, the closed-loop distributed system is also robust to bounded time-delays of exchanged information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6497512
Pages (from-to)2912-2917
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automatic Control
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2013


  • Cyclic-small-gain method
  • distributed control
  • nonlinear systems
  • output agreement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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