Prof. Jorge Cortés

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of California, San Diego, USA.

Title: Network Control for Engineered and Natural Systems

Abstract: Today we rely on a myriad of natural and engineered interconnected systems in our everyday life. Networks have become a paradigmatic way of representing complex systems across diverse scientific disciplines and application domains, where the interaction structure is itself intricate and may evolve along with the system's dynamics. From a systems and control perspective, this reality poses formidable research challenges and opportunities in order to guarantee the reliable, efficient, and safe operation of network systems. This talk describes our progress on understanding the mechanisms that make complex networks function they way they do and on engineering networks with predictable behavior. We focus on scenarios where information is distributed across multiple layers and only partially available to individual agents. We study the role played in the overall system performance by the structure of intra- and inter-connections among network layers, the coordination of decisions to optimize aggregate network performance, and the synthesis of resource-aware strategies for the efficient use of the available resources.

Short bio: Jorge Cortes is a Professor with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. He received the Licenciatura degree in mathematics from the Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain, in 1997, and the Ph.D. degree in engineering mathematics from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain, in 2001. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Twente, The Netherlands, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. He was an Assistant Professor with the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at the University of California, Santa Cruz from 2004 to 2007. He is the author of "Geometric, Control and Numerical Aspects of Nonholonomic Systems" (New York: Springer-Verlag, 2002) and co-author of "Distributed Control of Robotic Networks" (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009). He received a NSF CAREER award in 2006 and was the recipient of the 2006 Spanish Society of Applied Mathematics Young Researcher Prize. He has co-authored papers that have won the 2008 IEEE Control Systems Outstanding Paper Award, the 2009 SIAM Review SIGEST selection from the SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization, and the 2012 O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award in the Theory category. He is an IEEE Fellow and, at the IEEE Control Systems Society, he has been a Distinguished Lecturer (2010-2014), and is currently its Director of Operations and an elected member (2018-2020) of its Board of Governors. His current research interests include distributed control and optimization, network science, opportunistic state-triggered control, reasoning and decision making under uncertainty, and multi-agent coordination in robotic, power, and transportation networks.