Instructor: Victor M. Preciado, preciado [at] seas.upenn.edu
Meeting Info: MW 4:30-6:00 PM in Towne 307

Course Description:
Networks are ubiquitous in our modern society: Social and economic networks, natural networks (e.g., in biology), infrastructure networks (e.g., communications, the internet, transportation, energy), and networked decision and control systems (e.g., sensor networks, autonomous multiagent systems). This course deals with tools, methods, and algorithms for analysis and design of networked dynamical systems. The object of study in this research seminar are large collections of dynamical systems that are spatially interconnected to form a collective task or achieve a global behavior using local interactions. The purpose of this course is to build a mathematical foundation for studying such systems by exploring the interplay of control theory, distributed optimization, dynamical systems, and graph theory.


The objective of this course is to introduce graduate students to the field of complex networked systems. Apart from traditional lectures covering the fundamentals of network structure and dynamics (see Schedule), students will need to be able to critically read and analyze research papers across various disciplines (see Readings). Furthermore, as part of the requirements of the course, the students need to complete a project on a topic of your choice, related to the class material.

Grading will be based on the following items:
  • Homeworks (40%): Homeworks will be assigned every two weeks and due before the next homework is released.
  • Class participation (10%): Involvements in presentations and discussions.
  • Research report (30%): Read and review a collection of research papers related to a theoretical or application area within the scope of the course (a partial list of suggested papers can be found in Readings; I will discuss pointers to the literature as projects are proposed). This involves critically evaluating the papers and implement/replicate their results. A list of suggested papers can be found in Readings, although I will discuss pointers to the literature as projects are proposed. You can read more about the project specifications in here.
  • Presentation (20%): A 30-minute presentation about your research report, including criticism and new research directions.

RequirementsLinear systems (ESE 500), Linear algebra (Math 412 or equivalent), and Probability are required. Those without this background should consult the instructor.