Design and analysis of distributed averaging with quantized communication

Mahmoud El Chamie, Ji Liu, Tamer Basar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Consider a network whose nodes have some initial values, and it is desired to design an algorithm that builds on neighbor to neighbor interactions with the ultimate goal of convergence to the average of all initial node values or to some value close to that average. Such an algorithm is called generically 'distributed averaging', and our goal in this paper is to study the performance of a subclass of distributed averaging algorithms where the information exchange between neighboring nodes (agents) is subject to deterministic uniform quantization. With such quantization, the precise average cannot be achieved (except in exceptional cases), but some value close to it, called quantized consensus. It is shown in this paper that in finite time, the algorithm will either cause all agents to reach a quantized consensus where the consensus value is the largest integer not greater than the average of their initial values, or will lead all variables to cycle in a small neighborhood around the average, depending on initial conditions. In the latter case, tight bounds for the size of the neighborhood are given, and it is further shown that the error can be made arbitrarily small by adjusting the algorithm's parameters in a distributed manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication53rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control,CDC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781479977468
StatePublished - 2014
Event2014 53rd IEEE Annual Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2014 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: Dec 15 2014Dec 17 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)0743-1546
ISSN (Electronic)2576-2370


Other2014 53rd IEEE Annual Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


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