Issues in autonomous mobile sensor networks
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Autonomous mobile sensor networks consist of a number of autonomous mobile robots equipped with various sensors and tasked with a common mission. This thesis considers the topology control of such an ad hoc mobile sensor network. In particular, I studied the problem of controlling the size, with respect to a distance metric, of the network for general interactive forcing among agents. Developed is a stability result, allowing one to design force laws to control the spread of the network. Many of the current results assume a known and/or fixed topology of the graph representing the communication between the nodes, i.e. the graph laplacian is assumed constant. They also assume fixed and known force-laws. Hence, the results are limited to time-invariant dynamics. The research considers stability analysis of sensor networks, unconstrained by specific forcing functions or algorithms, and communication topologies. Since the graph topologies are allowed to change as the agents move about, the system dynamics become discontinuous in nature. Filippov’s calculus of differential equations with discontinuous right hand sides is used to formally characterize the multi-agent system with the above attributes. Lyapunov’s Stability Theory, applied to discontinuous systems, is then used to derive bounds on the norm of the system states given bounds on its initial states and input. The above derived stability results lend themselves to the derivation of methods for the design of algorithms or force-laws for mobile sensor networks. The efficacy of the derived results is illustrated through several examples where it is shown how they may be used for synthesizing a topology managing strategy. Examples are given of designing force-laws that limit the network in a desired area.
Dharne, Avinash Gopal (2007). Issues in autonomous mobile sensor networks. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from