Recent Research in Cooperative Control of Multi-Vehicle Systems

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Richard M. Murray
Control and Dynamical Systems
California Institute of Technology

Submitted, ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control
Special issue on the "Analysis and Control of Multi Agent Dynamic Systems"
May 2006


This paper presents a survey of recent research in cooperative control of multi-vehicle systems, using a common mathematical framework to allow different methods to be compared to each other. The survey has three primary parts: an overview of current applications of cooperative control, an summary of some of the key technical approaches that have been explored, and a description of some possible future directions for research. The articles that are used as a basis for this survey have been chosen in part based on their citation frequency and hence represent some of the seminal papers in the field.

Note: this page contains links to most (hopefully all) of the papers used for the review and is intended as a working document for the preparation of the article. A copy of the submitted version of the article will be posted here when it is available.


Applications Overview


  • UAV Cooperative Control, P. R. Chandler, M. Packter and S. Rasmussen. Proceedings, American Control Conference, 2001. 38 citations.
    • High level paper with good sample applications (cooperative attack, cooperative surveillance)
    • Uses hierarchical approach (breaks tasks down into subteams); no technical results included

Technology Overview

Formation Control

Keeping a set of vehicles in a formation, including swarms and string stability

Cooperative Tasking/Resource Allocation

Spatio-Temporal Control



Collision avoidance

Future Directions