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Research Papers

A Combinatorial Approach for Developing Ring Communication Graphs for Vehicle Formations

[+] Author and Article Information
Shyamprasad Konduri

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: konduri@tamu.edu

Prabhakar R. Pagilla

Professor
Fellow ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: ppagilla@tamu.edu

Swaroop Darbha

Professor
Fellow ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Texas A&M University,
College Station, TX 77843
e-mail: dswaroop@tamu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Dynamic Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS, MEASUREMENT, AND CONTROL. Manuscript received August 26, 2016; final manuscript received April 13, 2017; published online June 28, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Jingang Yi.

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 139(10), 101014 (Jun 28, 2017) (9 pages) Paper No: DS-16-1417; doi: 10.1115/1.4036565 History: Received August 26, 2016; Revised April 13, 2017

In this paper, we study vehicle formations employing ring-structured communication strategies and propose a combinatorial approach for developing ring graphs for vehicle formations. In vehicle platoons, a ring graph is formed when each vehicle receives information from its predecessor, and the lead vehicle receives information from the last vehicle, thus forming a ring in its basic form. In such basic form, the communication distance between the first and the last vehicle increases with the platoon size, which creates implementation issues due to sensing range limitations. If one were to employ a communication protocol such as the token ring protocol, the delay in updating information and communication arises from the need for the token to travel across the entire graph. To overcome this limitation, alternative ring graphs which are formed by smaller communication distances between vehicles are proposed in this paper. For a given formation and a constraint on the maximum communication distance between any two vehicles, an algorithm to generate a ring graph is obtained by formulating the problem as an instance of the traveling salesman problem (TSP). In contrast to the vehicle platoons, generation of a ring communication graph is not straightforward for two- and three-dimensional formations; the TSP formulation allows this for both two- and three-dimensional formations with specific constraints. In addition, with ring communication structure, it is possible to devise simple ways to reconfigure the graph when vehicles are added/removed to/from the formation, which is discussed in the paper. Further, the experimental results using mobile robots for platooning and two-dimensional formations using ring graphs are shown and discussed.

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Topics: Vehicles
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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Position of vehicles with control law (3), actuator lag τ=0.5 s, time headway h = 0.6 s with ka = 0 (top) and ka=0.75 (bottom)

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Fig. 2

Basic ring communication in a platoon with five vehicles

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Fig. 3

Alternate ring graph with communication structure 1→3→5→2→4→1

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Fig. 4

Information hopping from vehicle ten to one

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Fig. 5

Platoon of ten vehicles with alternative ring graph

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Fig. 6

Two- and three-dimensional formation examples with communication range disk

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Fig. 7

Two- and three-dimensional formations with ring graph obtained from the TSP formulation

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Fig. 8

Eigenvalues of the platoons with ring graph with ten and 13 vehicles

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Fig. 9

Graph reconfiguration after adding a single node, newly added node “m” and its closest node along the path “nc,” Reconfigured graph passing through “m”

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Fig. 10

Reconfiguration using graph search: initial configuration, and reconfigured graph with additional two vehicles

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Fig. 11

Picture of mobile robots

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Fig. 12

Two loop trajectory tracking controller

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Fig. 13

Evolution of position with (a) basic and alternative ring graphs, (b) initial position less and greater than desired spacing, and (c) triangle and square formation with nonzero initial position errors

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