Scaling in bidirectional platoons with dynamic controllers and proportional asymmetry

TitleScaling in bidirectional platoons with dynamic controllers and proportional asymmetry
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsHerman, Ivo, Dan Martinec, Zdeněk Hurák, and Michael Šebek
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automatic Control

We consider platoons composed of identical vehicles with an asymmetric nearest-neighbor interaction. We restrict ourselves to intervehicular coupling realized with dynamic arbitrary-order onboard controllers such that the coupling to the immediately preceding vehicle is proportional to the coupling to the immediately following vehicle. Each vehicle is modeled using a transfer function and we impose no restriction on the order of the vehicle. The only requirement on the controller and vehicle model is that the platoon is stable for any number of vehicles. The platoon is described by a transfer function in a convenient product form. We investigate how the H-infinity norm and the steady-state gain of the platoon scale with the number of vehicles. We conclude that if the open-loop transfer function of the vehicle contains two or more integrators and the second smallest eigenvalue of the graph Laplacian is uniformly bounded from below, the norm scales exponentially with the growing distance in the graph. If there is just one integrator in the open loop, we give a condition under which the norm of the transfer function is bounded by its steady-state gain - the platoon is string-stable. Moreover, we argue that in this case it is always possible to design a controller for the extreme asymmetry - the predecessor following strategy.