Volume 83, Number 4, August 2008
Article Number 40003
Number of page(s) 6
Section General
Published online 06 August 2008
EPL, 83 (2008) 40003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/83/40003

Ultrafast consensus via predictive mechanisms

Hai-Tao Zhang1, 2, Michael ZhiQiang Chen2, 3, Tao Zhou4, 5 and Guy-Bart Stan2

1  Department of Control Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology Wuhan 430074, PRC
2  Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge - Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK, EU
3  Department of Engineering, University of Leicester - Leicester LE1 7RH, UK, EU
4  Department of Modern Physics, University of Science and Technology of China - Hefei 230026, PRC
5  Department of Physics, University of Fribourg, Chemin du Muse - CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland

received 30 March 2008; accepted in final form 3 July 2008; published August 2008
published online 6 August 2008

An important natural phenomenon surfaces that ultrafast consensus can be achieved by introducing predictive mechanisms. By predicting the dynamics of a network several steps ahead and using this information in the consensus protocol, it is shown that, without changing the topology of the network, drastic improvements can be achieved in terms of the speed of convergence towards consensus and of the feasible range of sampling periods, compared with the routine consensus protocol. In natural science, this study provides an evidence for the idea that some predictive mechanisms exist in widely-spread biological swarms, flocks, and schools. From the industrial engineering point of view, inclusion of an efficient predictive mechanism allows for a significant increase in the consensus speed and a reduction of the required communication energy.

05.65.+b - Self-organized systems.
87.17.Jj - Cell locomotion, chemotaxis.
89.75.-k - Complex systems.

© EPLA 2008