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227-0690-06L Advanced Topics in Control
Distributed Systems and Control
Spring 2018

The course updates shall be made available on the ATIC Moodle website, accessible to all registered students. Some basic information about the course can be found below. Please also see the course flyer.


Lecturer: Florian Dörfler
Assistants: Dominic Gross ETL I 34 044 632 3227
Ashish Kumar Cherukuri ETL I 29 044 632 8109
Dario Paccagnan ETL I 15 044 632 3704
Luca Furieri ETL K 12 044 632 8531

The students can contact the ATIC team via email at ifaatic(at) .


Lecture: Tuesdays 16:15 to 18:00 CAB G 61
Exercises: Fridays 10:15 to 12:00 ML H 44
Office hour: Feb 26 to Mar 19: Mondays 15:00 to 16:00 ETL K 21
from Mar 28: Wednesdays 13:00 to 14:00 ETL I 10
The first lecture will take place on Tuesday, the 20th of February. Tuesday lectures will be recored (only slides and voice, no possibility of seeing what is written on the blackboard) and can be found on the ETH Multimedia Portal.


Control systems (227-0216-00L), Linear system theory (227-0225-00L), or equivalents, basic Matlab skills as well as sufficient mathematical maturity.


Distributed control systems include large-scale physical systems, engineered multi-agent systems, as well as their interconnection in cyber-physical systems. Representative examples are electric power grids, camera networks, and robotic sensor networks. The challenges associated with these systems arise due to their coupled, distributed, and large-scale nature, and due to limited sensing, communication, and control capabilities. This course covers modeling, analysis, and design of distributed control systems as well as applications in various engineering domains. Topics covered in the course include
  • the theory of graphs with an emphasis on algebraic and spectral graph theory;
  • basic models of interconnected dynamical systems and multi-agent systems;
  • continuous-time and discrete-time distributed averaging and consensus algorithms;
  • coordination algorithms for rendezvous, formation, flocking, and deployment;
  • distributed algorithms computation and optimization over networks; and
  • applications in robotic coordination, coupled oscillators, social networks, sensor networks, power grids, and epidemics.


The lecture notes and further material will be distributed via the ATIC Moodle website.