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DCL Seminar: Wei Zhang - Game Theoretic Approaches to Coordination and Control for Cyber-Physical Systems

Event Type
Decision and Control Laboratory, Coordinated Science Laboratory
CSL Auditorium, Room B02
Sep 20, 2017   3:00 pm  
Wei Zhang, Ph.D., Ohio State University
Linda Meccoli
Originating Calendar
CSL Decision and Control Group

Decision and Control Lecture Series

Coordinated Science Laboratory


“Game Theoretic Approaches to Coordination and Control for Cyber-Physical Systems”


Wei Zhang, Ph.D.

Ohio State University


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

CSL Auditorium (B02)



In this talk, I will present our recent work on game theory and their applications in cyber-physical systems. The talk will consist of two parts. The first part will present a differential game framework for planning of multi-agent systems under adversarial uncertainties. I will show how to use differential game to model the classic Capture-the-Flag (CF) game, and present an efficient way to solve the game through reachability analysis and computation. I will also discuss how to deal with multiple players in non-convex domains using the so-called “open-loop” reachability approach. The results will be demonstrated through some field experiments in which human players use GPS-equipped smartphones for receiving movement recommendations computed based on the proposed game solutions.

The second part will focus on our recent work on mean-field games motivated by coordination problems in smart grid and intelligent transportation systems. Different from many approaches developed in the literature, we propose to study mean-field games from an optimization perspective. We show that an important class of mean-field games is strongly connected (sometimes equivalent) to a corresponding optimization problem in vector space. Such connections enable formal analysis and evaluation of the efficiency of mean-field equilibrium. They also allow us to recover and extend many existing results on the existence and uniqueness of mean-field equilibrium in a much simpler way. Furthermore, the connections indicate that computing the mean-field equilibrium can be cast as an optimization problem. We show that some recent algorithms developed in the literature for computing mean-field equilibrium can be viewed as prime-dual algorithms of the associated optimization problem. At the end, I will also discuss how our results differ from and relate to the existing results on potential games.


Wei Zhang received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 2009. From January 2010 to August 2011, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the EECS Department at UC Berkeley. He is currently an Associate Professor in the ECE Department at the Ohio State University. He also holds a joint appointment with the Electricity Infrastructure group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. His research focuses on control of hybrid systems and game theory, with applications in power systems, robotics, and intelligent transportations. Dr. Zhang received the Lumley Research Award from the College of Engineering at OSU in 2015, and the NSF CAREER Award in 2016. He is currently a Senior Member of IEEE and an editor of the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems.

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