Intelligent Control and Optimization Techniques for Next-Generation Complex Dynamic Interconnected Systems

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community



Shirantha Welikala
University of Notre Dame


"Intelligent Control and Optimization Techniques for Next-Generation Complex Dynamic Interconnected Systems"


Complex dynamic interconnected systems arise in many emerging applications in areas like surveillance, patrolling, smart grid, supply chain networks, multi-robot systems, biochemical reactions, interacting populations, and epidemics. Therefore, developing intelligent control and optimization techniques targeting such interconnected systems is of prime importance to advance the state of the art across many application domains.

However, several persistent challenges in this endeavor include handling concerns related to complexity, scalability, uncertainty, resiliency, security, and optimality. To address these challenges, it is paramount that we: (1) Identify and exploit unique structural properties behind each interested class of problems, (2) Develop and use rigorous theoretical concepts, and (3) Specialize and deploy cutting-edge techniques in control, optimization, artificial intelligence, and interconnected systems.

To showcase this approach, in this talk, I will discuss a selected set of control and optimization techniques developed for several interesting interconnected systems applications. They include: (1) Off-line and on-line control techniques developed for a generic class of multi-agent persistent monitoring problems with applications in surveillance, patrolling, distributed sensing, etc., and (2) Decentralized and compositional analysis, distributed controller synthesis and interconnection topology synthesis techniques developed for generic linear and non-linear networked systems with applications in smart grid, supply chains, multi-robotic systems, etc. I will conclude this talk by outlining several future research plans toward addressing fundamental challenges and exploring emerging applications of complex dynamic interconnected systems.


Shirantha Welikala is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, USA. He received a B.Sc. degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, in 2015. From 2015 to 2017, he was with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Peradeniya, where he worked as a Temporary Instructor and subsequently as a Research Assistant. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from Boston University, Brookline, MA, USA, in 2019 and 2021, respectively. His main research interests include control and optimization of cooperative multi-agent systems, analysis, controller synthesis and topology synthesis in large-scale networked systems, passivity-based control, symbolic control, robotics, data-driven control, machine learning, and smart-grid applications. He is a recipient of several awards and fellowships, including the 2015 Ceylon Electricity Board Gold Medal from the University of Peradeniya, a 2017 Dean’s Fellowship from Boston University, the 2019 and the 2022 President’s Award for Scientific Research in Sri Lanka, the 2021 Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Award in Systems Engineering from Boston University and the 2022 Best Paper Award at the 30th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation. For more information, please visit