Bryan Van Scoy part of a research team receiving an outstanding paper award

Bryan Van Scoy, an assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Miami University, along with five other professors, recently received the 2021 IEEE Control Systems Magazine Outstanding Paper Award.

They were honored during a virtual conference of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Conference on Decision and Control. 

Their paper, titled “Tutorial on Dynamic Average Consensus: The Problem, Its Applications, and the Algorithms,” focuses on the basic algorithms that multiple agents, such as drones, computers, or cell phones, can use to cooperatively solve complex problems.

“Dynamic Average Consensus is an algorithm that enables technologies to work together to agree on a solution. Such scenarios are possible due to recent advances in low-cost and reliable computing, data storage, and sensing capabilities that enable large groups of agents to cooperate and solve complex problems that we previously couldn't solve,” Van Scoy said.

An application of this type of technology was displayed in the 2018 Winter Olympics, where Intel developed a drone show that featured intricate patterns, shapes, and colors depicting snowboarders and skiers.IEEE-Van-Scoy

“One of the fundamental impacts of this work has been in providing a solid framework for higher-level algorithms that can build upon this simple algorithm to do more complex tasks,” Van Scoy said. One such task is environmental modeling, where robots collectively build a model of their environment. For instance, robots can be programmed to measure the temperature of the water in the ocean. Once these robots agree on the average temperature, they can fuse their measurements to build an accurate model of the entire ocean. 

This project was a culmination of Van Scoy’s work as a doctoral student at Northwestern University. Other writers on the paper include: Dr. Solmaz S. Kia, Dr. Jorge Cortés, Dr. Randy A. Freeman, Dr. Kevin M. Lynch and Dr. Sonia Martinez.

Van Scoy joined Miami two years ago, and his research interests are in robust control, convex optimization and large-scale interconnected systems.

Written by Gabby Benedict, CEC Reporter