Robust Connectivity of Networked Vehicles

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Demetri P. Spanos and Richard M. Murray
Submitted, 2004 Conference on Decision and Control (CDC)

We present a simple geometric analysis of wireless connectivity in vehicle networks. We introduce a localized notion of connectedness, and construct a function that measures the robustness of this local connectedness to variations in position. Under a mild feasibility hypothesis, this function provides a sufficient condition for global connectedness of the network. Further, it is distributed, in the sense that both the function and its gradients can be calculated using only neighbor-to-neighbor communications. It can thus form the basis for distributed motion-control algorithms which respect connectivity constraints. We conclude with two simple examples of target applications.