Distributed Resource Allocation with Limited Communication

Time: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Type: Seminar Series
Presenter: Na Li, Harvard University
Room/Office: Room 335
17 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Department of Electrical Engineering Seminar

Distributed Resource Allocation with Limited Communication1

Na Li
Assistant Professor 
Harvard University

A major issue in future cyber-physical networks is how individual components can autonomously change their resource allocation to achieve near maximum efficiency for the network. One example is how intelligent devices and producers can change their power consumption/production in power grids. Limited communications between individual devices necessitate an approach where the ele- ments of the network can act in an autonomous manner with limited information/communications yet achieve near-optimal performance.

In this talk, I will present our recent work on distributed resource allocation with limited communication. In particular, I will first show how we can extract information from physical measurements and develop fast and closed-loop decentralized control algorithms. Then I will present how to recover information from local computation by studying a general class of quantized gradient methods and its use for the resource allocation problem. Sufficient and necessary conditions are provided on the quantization set to guarantee the optimality and convergence of the algorithms. Lastly, we also investigate communication complexity of the problem, the minimal number of communicated bits needed to solve some classes of resource allocation problems regardless of the used algorithms.

Na Li is an assistant professor in Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Harvard University since 2014. She received her Bachelor degree in Mathematics in Zhejiang University in 2007 and PhD degree in Control and Dynamical systems from California Institute of Technology in 2013. She was a postdoctoral associate of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2013- 2014. Her research lies in distributed optimization and control of cyber-physical networked systems. She received NSF career award (2016) and AFSOR Young Investigator Award (2017). She entered the Best Student Paper Award finalist in the 2011 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control.

Joint work with Guannan Qu, Sindri Magnusson, Chinwendu Enyioha, Carlo Fischione, and Vahid Tarokh

Friday, September 22
3:00 pm
Room 335, 17 Hillhouse