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

The course updates shall be made available on the 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, social or engineered multi-agent systems, as well as their interconnection in cyber-physical systems. Representative examples are electric power grids, swarm robotics, sensor networks, distributed computing and epidemic spreading over networks. The challenges associated with these systems arise due to their coupled, distributed, and large-scale nature, and due to limited sensing, communication, computing, 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;

  • stability, performance, and robustness analysis of network systems;

  • distributed algorithms, computation, and optimization over networks; and

  • applications in robotic coordination, social networks, sensor networks, electrical networks, and epidemic spreading.

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

Lecturing team




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


Lecture Notes


The lectures are all recorded and made available through Moodle. 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.