Departmental Papers (ESE)


This paper introduces the use of vector fields to design, optimize, and implement reactive schedules for safe cooperative robot patterns on planar graphs. We consider automated guided vehicles (AGVs) operating upon a predefined network of pathways. In contrast to the case of locally Euclidean configuration spaces, regularization of collisions is no longer a local procedure, and issues concerning the global topology of configuration spaces must be addressed. The focus of the present inquiry is the definition, design, and algorithmic construction of controllers for achievement of safe, efficient, cooperative patterns in the simplest nontrivial example (a pair of robots on a Y-network) by means of a hierarchical event-driven state feedback law.

Document Type

Journal Article

Subject Area

GRASP, Kodlab

Date of this Version

February 2002


Reprinted from SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization , Volume 40, Issue 5, February 6 2002, pages 1556–1575.
Publisher URL:

NOTE: At the time of publication, the author, Daniel Koditschek, was affiliated with the University of Michigan. Currently, he is a faculty member of the School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.


configuration spaces, AGV, graph network, hierarchical control



Date Posted: 03 April 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.