Workshop on the Resilience and Controllability of Large Scale Systems:

A Network-Theoretic Approach

About the Workshop:

Large-scale systems play a central role in a multitude of applications, from power grids and smart buildings to aerospace systems, swarm robotics, social networks, and intelligent transportation systems. As the scale of networked control systems increases and interactions between different subsystems become more sophisticated, questions of controllability, observability, and resilience of such networks increase in importance. The need to redefine classical system and control theoretic notions into the language of networks has recently started to gain attention as a fertile and important area of research. A key challenge for the controls community is thus to understand how to leverage network theory along with systems and control to analyze the controllability, observability, and resilience of large-scale interconnected systems.

The IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, as one of the premier annual gatherings of researchers in the field of systems and control, is a perfect venue for a workshop on network-theoretic approaches to controlling large scale systems. The goal of this workshop is to present the challenges in this area, together with tools and approaches that have been recently developed to address this problem. In particular, the key emphasis of this workshop will be on the use of graph-theoretic approaches to large-scale systems analysis, which will differentiate it from other workshops on control and security of centralized systems. The target audience is students, researchers and practitioners from academia and industry who are interested in learning about (and contributing to) the emerging field of network control systems. The workshop will be highly interactive and will feature tutorial-style talks by leading experts in the field, giving the audience a perspective of how network theory plays a role in the resilience and control of large scale systems, and how to best combine different perspectives to develop efficient, reliable and resilient systems.​


Workshop Outline:

This will be a full-day workshop on Tuesday December 10, 2019, from 8:30-5:30pm, with a 1.5 hour lunch break and two coffee breaks (one at 10:30 and one at 3:00pm). A tentative list of workshop topics is given below.

  • Welcome and Overview
  • Graph-theoretic explanations of game equilibrium over networks.
  • Network centrality measures and their applications in optimal sensor/actuator placement.
  • Structured system theory and its application to robust controllability of networked systems.
  • Strategies for efficient large-scale network design.
  • Graph-theoretic approaches to the security of networked control systems.
  • Algebraic graph theory with applications to resilience of distributed algorithms.


  • 8:30-9:00 Workshop Welcome
  • 9:00-9:30 Nader Motee (Lehigh University), Title of the talk: Risk of Large Fluctuation in Interconnected Networks: Fundamental Limits and Intrinsic Tradeoffs, SLIDES.
  • 9:30-10:00 Stacy Patterson (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Title of the talk: Strategies for Efficient Large-Scale Network Design with Performance Guarantees, SLIDES.
  • 10:00-10:30 Sergio Pequito (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Title of the talk: Structural Systems Theory: Past, Present, and Future, SLIDES.

  • 10:30-11:00 Coffee Break

  • 11:00-11:30 Mohammad Pirani (University of Toronto), Title of the talk: A Game-theoretic Framework for Security-aware Sensor Placement Problem in Networked Control Systems.
  • 11:30-12:00 Victor M. Preciado (University of Pennsylvania), Title of the talk: Efficient Estimation of Graph Eigenvalues from Sparse Observations, SLIDES.

  • 12:00-13:30 Lunch Break

  • 13:30-14:00 Iman Shames (University of Melbourne), Title of the talk: On Eigenvalues of Laplacian Matrix for a Class of Directed Signed Graphs, SLIDES.
  • 14:00-14:30 Shreyas Sundaram (Purdue University), Title of the talk: A Notion of Robustness in Large-Scale Networks, with Applications to Resilient Distributed Learning and Coordination, SLIDES.
  • 14:30-15:00 Daniel Zelazo and Miel Sharf (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology), Title of the talk: Detecting and Isolating Network Faults in Multi-Agent Systems Using Graph Connectivity, Network Optimization and Passivity, SLIDES.

  • 15:00-15:30 Coffee Break

  • 15:30-16:00 Sonia Martinez (University of California, San Diego), Title of the talk: Identification of critical nodes in large scale spatial networks
  • 16:00-16:30 Joshua Taylor (University of Toronto), Title of the talk: Decentralized control of DC-segmented power systems, SLIDES.

58th Conference on Decision and Control - Nice, France - December 11th-13th 2019