Convergence and Synchronization in Networks of Piecewise Smooth Dynamical Systems

May 28, 2021, Zoom

Mario Di Bernardo


The need for coordination and cooperation among a large number of subsystems in order to achieve a common desired function is common to many applications in a wide range of different areas: from physics and technology to life and social sciences. Examples include flocking of autonomous mobile agents, fish schooling, phase synchronization of power generators, regulation of proteins and enzymes production, neuronal activity in the brain. Often, these examples can be modeled as networks of dynamical agents exchanging information over a web of complex interconnections. Typically, it is assumed that the network model is sufficiently smooth and differentiable. In many applications instead networks can be piecewise-smooth at different levels. Discontinuities can indeed affect the agent dynamics, the coupling function used to interconnect different agents and/or the evolution of the network structure itself. In this talk I will discuss recent results by my group on studying convergence and synchronization in networks of piecewise-smooth dynamical systems, including the case of Filippov systems exhibiting sliding mode solutions. After giving an overview of the problem, I will discuss different strategies based on Lyapunov stability theory and contraction theory to prove local or global convergence of all the agents towards a common asymptotic solution. Examples from applications will be used to illustrate and validate the theoretical derivations.

Speaker's Bio

Mario di Bernardo (SMIEEE ’06, FIEEE 2012) is Professor of Automatic Control at the University of Naples Federico II, Italy and Visiting Professor of Nonlinear Systems and Control at the University of Bristol, U.K. He currently serves as Deputy pro-Vice Chancellor for Internationalization at the University of Naples and coordinates the research area on Modeling and Engineering Risk and Complexity of the Scuola Superiore Meridionale, the new School of Advanced Studies located in Naples. On 28th February 2007 he was bestowed the title of Cavaliere of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic for scientific merits from the President of Italy. He was elevated to the grade of Fellow of the IEEE in January 2012 for his contributions to the analysis, control and applications of nonlinear systems and complex networks. In 2009, he was elected President of the Italian Society for Chaos and Complexity for the term 2010-2013. He was re-elected in 2013 for the term 2014-2017. In 2006 and again in 2009 he was elected to the Board of Governors of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. From 2011 to 2014 he was Vice President for Financial Activities of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. In 2015 he was appointed to the Board of Governors of the IEEE Control Systems Society. He was Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society for the two-year term 2016-2017. His research interests include the analysis, synchronization and control of complex network systems; piecewise-smooth dynamical systems; nonlinear dynamics and nonlinear control with applications to engineering and computational biology. He authored or co-authored more than 220 international scientific publications including more than 110 papers in scientific journals, a research monograph and two edited books. According to the international database SCOPUS (January 2021), his h-index is 49 and his publications received over 8000 citations by other authors. In 2017, he received the IEEE George N. Saridis Best Transactions Paper Award for Outstanding Research. He serves on the Editorial Board of several international scientific journals and conferences. From 1st January 2014 till 31st December 2015 he was Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems: Regular Papers. He is Senior Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems and Associate Editor of the IEEE Control Systems Letters, the Conference Editorial Board of the IEEE Control System Society and the European Control Association (EUCA). He was Associate Editor of Nonlinear Analysis: Hybrid Systems; the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Sytems I: Regular Papers from 1999 to 2002 and again from 2008 to 2010, and the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Brief papers from 2003 till 2008. He is regularly invited as Plenary Speakers in Italy and abroad. He was Program co-Chair of the European Control Conference 2019, Publicity Chair of the IEEE ISCAS Conference 2018 and has been organizer and co-organizer of several scientific initiatives and events and received funding from several funding agencies and industry including the European Union, the UK research councils the Italian Ministry of Research and University.