Nonlinear Dynamics

, Volume 74, Issue 1–2, pp 95–106 | Cite as

Leaderless and leader-follower cooperative control of multiple marine surface vehicles with unknown dynamics

  • Zhouhua Peng
  • Dan Wang
  • Tieshan Li
  • Zhiliang Wu
Original Paper


Unlike the tracking control of a single marine vehicle, this paper considers the leaderless and leader-follower cooperative control of multiple marine surface vehicles subject to unknown nonlinear dynamics and ocean disturbances, all seeking to maintain a relative formation. For both cases, a cooperative control design approach is proposed by integrating neural networks, a backstepping technique, and graph theory. It is shown that with the developed cooperative controllers, formation behavior among vehicles can be achieved for any undirected connected communication graphs without requiring the accurate model of each vehicle. Based on Lyapunov stability analysis, all signals in the closed-loop system are guaranteed to be uniformly ultimately bounded, and cooperative tracking errors converge to a small neighborhood of the origin. Simulation results are given to show the efficacy of the proposed methods.


Cooperative control Marine surface vehicles Neural networks Nonlinear dynamics 



The authors would like to thank the editor and any reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions, which have improved the quality of the paper. This work was supported in part by the National Nature Science Foundation of China under Grants 61273137, 51209026, 61074017, 51179019, and in part by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities under Grant 3132013037, and in part by the Program for Liaoning Excellent Talents in University under Grant LR 2012016.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhouhua Peng
    • 1
  • Dan Wang
    • 1
  • Tieshan Li
    • 2
  • Zhiliang Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Marine EngineeringDalian Maritime UniversityDalianP.R. China
  2. 2.School of NavigationDalian Maritime UniversityDalianP.R. China

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