IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Vol.59, No.2, 449-455, 2014
A Mean Field Game Synthesis of Initial Mean Consensus Problems: A Continuum Approach for Non-Gaussian Behavior
This technical note presents a continuum approach to a non-Gaussian initial mean consensus problem via Mean Field (MF) stochastic control theory. In this problem formulation: (i) each agent has simple stochastic dynamics with inputs directly controlling its state's rate of change and (ii) each agent seeks to minimize by continuous state feedback its individual discounted cost function involving the mean of the states of all other agents. For this dynamic game problem, a set of coupled deterministic (Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman and Fokker-Planck-Kolmogorov) equations is derived approximating the stochastic system of agents as the population size goes to infinity. In a finite population system(analogous to the MF LQG framework): (i) the resulting decentralized MF control strategies possess an epsilon(N)-Nash equilibrium property where goes epsilon(N) to zero as the population size N approaches infinity and (ii) these MF control strategies steer each individual's state toward the initial state population mean which is reached asymptotically as time goes to infinity. Hence, the system with decentralized MF control strategies reaches mean-consensus on the initial state population mean asymptotically as time goes to infinity.