Sparse stabilization and optimal control of the cucker-smale model

Marco Caponigro, Massimo Fornasier, Benedetto Piccoli, Emmanuel Trélat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


This article is mainly based on the work [7], and it is dedicated to the 60th anniversary of B. Bonnard, held in Dijon in June 2012. We focus on a controlled Cucker-Smale model in finite dimension. Such dynamics model self-organization and consensus emergence in a group of agents. We explore how it is possible to control this model in order to enforce or facilitate pattern formation or convergence to consensus. In particular, we are interested in designing control strategies that are componentwise sparse in the sense that they require a small amount of external intervention, and also time sparse in the sense that such strategies are not chattering in time. These sparsity features are desirable in view of practical issues. We first show how very simple sparse feedback strategies can be designed with the use of a variational principle, in order to steer the system to consensus. These feedbacks are moreover optimal in terms of decay rate of some functional, illustrating the general principle according to which "sparse is better". We then combine these results with local controllability properties to get global controllability results. Finally, we explore the sparsity properties of the optimal control minimizing a combination of the distance from consensus and of a norm of the control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-466
Number of pages20
JournalMathematical Control and Related Fields
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Optimization
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Consensus emergence
  • Cucker-smale model
  • Local controllability
  • Sparse optimal control
  • Sparse stabilization
  • ℓ-norm minimization


Dive into the research topics of 'Sparse stabilization and optimal control of the cucker-smale model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this