(227-0690-06L) Advanced Topics in Control: Distributed Systems and Control

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 take a look at the course flyer, and the ETH course catalogue.

Description and tentative contents

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.

Time permitting, we can also venture into specialized topics depending on the students’ interests.


Control systems (227-0216-00L), Linear system theory (227-0225-00L), or equivalents, basic Matlab skills, as well as sufficient mathematical maturity. In case of doubt, please contact me.


Lecture Notes


The lectures are all video-streamed here. If you are not officially registered but want access to the slides, exercises, and other course material, then please send me an email.

If you have any questions about the course, please send me an email. I will try to respond promptly.