R.R. Negenborn, B. De Schutter, and J. Hellendoorn, "Multi-agent model predictive control for transportation networks: Serial versus parallel schemes," Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 353-366, Apr. 2008.
We consider the control of large-scale transportation networks, like road traffic networks, power distribution networks, water distribution networks, etc. Control of these networks is often not possible from a single point by a single intelligent control agent; instead control has to be performed using multiple intelligent agents. We consider multi-agent control schemes in which each agent employs a model-based predictive control approach. Coordination between the agents is used to improve decision making. This coordination can be in the form of parallel or serial schemes. We propose a novel serial coordination scheme based on Lagrange theory and compare this with an existing parallel scheme. Experiments by means of simulations on a particular type of transportation network, viz., an electric power network, illustrate the performance of both schemes. It is shown that the serial scheme has preferable properties compared to the parallel scheme in terms of the convergence speed and the quality of the solution.