Distributed Non-convex Optimization of Multi-agent Systems Using Boosting Functions to Escape Local Optima: Theory and Applications

15 Jul 2020  ·  Welikala Shirantha, Cassandras Christos G. ·

We address the problem of multiple local optima arising due to non-convex objective functions in cooperative multi-agent optimization problems. To escape such local optima, we propose a systematic approach based on the concept of boosting functions... The underlying idea is to temporarily transform the gradient at a local optimum into a boosted gradient with a non-zero magnitude. We develop a Distributed Boosting Scheme (DBS) based on a gradient-based optimization algorithm using a novel optimal variable step size mechanism so as to guarantee convergence. Even though our motivation is based on the coverage control problem setting, our analysis applies to a broad class of multi-agent problems. Simulation results are provided to compare the performance of different boosting functions families and to demonstrate the effectiveness of the boosting function approach in attaining improved (still generally local) optima. read more

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Optimization and Control