Distributed and Time-Delayed k-Winner-Take-All Network for Competitive Coordination of Multiple Robots

Long Jin, Siqi Liang, Xin Luo, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, a distributed and time-delayed k-winner-take-all (DT-kWTA) network is established and analyzed for competitively coordinated task assignment of a multirobot system. It is considered and designed from the following three aspects. First, a network is built based on a k-winner-take-all (kWTA) competitive algorithm that selects k maximum values from the inputs. Second, a distributed control strategy is used to improve the network in terms of communication load and computational burden. Third, the time-delayed problem prevalent in arbitrary causal systems (especially, in networks) is taken into account in the proposed network. This work combines distributed kWTA competition network with time delay for the first time, thus enabling it to better handle realistic applications than previous work. In addition, it theoretically derives the maximum delay allowed by the network and proves the convergence and robustness of the network. The results are applied to a multirobot system to conduct its robots' competitive coordination to complete the given task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Competitive coordination
  • Delay effects
  • distributed control
  • Heuristic algorithms
  • intelligent network
  • k-winner-take-all (kWTA)
  • Mathematical models
  • Multi-robot systems
  • multirobot system
  • optimization
  • Robot kinematics
  • Robustness
  • Task analysis
  • time delay


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