On Distributed Control and Price Mechanisms

Many control applications involve interaction between several control units, each with access to its own specific information about the system state. Considerable progress in the mathematical understanding of such problems has recently been reported from several directions. One example is the analysis of dynamic interaction between routers and sources in the Internet. Other results have been obtained for control of vehicle formations and synchronization in networks of nonlinearly coupled oscillators.

Versions of the problem have a long history in economic literature as well as in control and statistical decision theory. In this lecture, we give an introduction to the area and show how solutions to the classical LQG control problem can be modified to accommodate more complex information patterns. We also discuss how some distributed control laws can be interpreted in economic terms using price mechanisms.

Anders Rantzer, Lund University, Sweden

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