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Journal of Applied Mathematics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 123072, 11 pages
Research Article

Formation Control and Obstacle Avoidance for Hybrid Multi-Agent Systems

Dong Xue,1,2 Jing Yao,1,3 and Jun Wang1

1Department of Control Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 201804, China
2Institute for Information-Oriented Control, Technische Universität München, D-80290 München, Germany
3Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR, China

Received 10 July 2013; Accepted 20 September 2013

Academic Editor: Michael Chen

Copyright © 2013 Dong Xue et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A new concept of formation is proposed to handle a group of agents navigating in a free and an obstacle-laden environment while maintaining a desired formation and changing formations when required. With respect to the requirements of changing formation subject to internal or external events, a hybrid multiagent system (HMAS) is formulated in this paper. Based on the fact that obstacles impose the negative effect on the formation of HMAS, the formation is introduced to reflect the above disturbed situation and quantify the attenuation level of obstacle avoidance via the -norm of formation stability. An improved Newtonian potential function and a set of repulsive functions are employed to guarantee the HMAS formation-keeping and collision-avoiding from obstacles in a path planning problem, respectively. Simulation results in this paper show that the proposed formation algorithms can effectively allow the multiagent system to avoid penetration into obstacles while accomplishing prespecified global objective successfully.