May 24, 2021, Monday, 8:30 am - 5:30 pm Eastern Standard Time, Virtual.

Control of Distributions: Theory and Applications


Topics and goals: Directly controlling the effect of uncertainty on a dynamical system amounts to actively shaping the future evolution of the distribution of the system trajectories--an infinite-dimensional, and often intractable problem. However, several recent advances have made it possible to control these trajectory distributions in a systematic and precise manner.

This ACC 2021 workshop will strike a balance between the theory and applications of distributional control. Its main goal is to bring together researchers across systems-control engineering to inform about recent advances, put the different strands of progress in perspective to get a clearer view of the research landscape, and promote discussions and collaborations to pursue the exciting vistas ahead.

Several topics that reflect the main philosophy behind controlling distributions will be discussed and summarized. In addition to the nine planned talks delivered by leading researchers in distributional control, the dedicated Q&A session in the afternoon will allow all participants to engage in lively discussions.


Efstathios Bakolas [University of Texas at Austin]
Yongxin Chen [Georgia Institute of Technology]
Abhishek Halder [University of California, Santa Cruz]
Panagiotis Tsiotras [Georgia Institute of Technology]

Workshop Program

Time Speaker Title Links
8:50 -- 9:00 Organizers Opening Remarks [Video]
Session 1: Aerospace and Robotics Applications
9:00 -- 9:35 Panagiotis Tsiotras Covariance Steering as a Tool for Planning in the Presence of Uncertainty [Abstract] [Video] [Slides]
9:35 -- 10:10 Jonathan Rogers Koopman Operator Approach to Optimal Control and Chance-Constrained Motion Planning for Systems with Parameter Uncertainty [Abstract] [Video] [Slides]
10:10 -- 10:45 Evangelos Theodorou Distributional Control: From Robotics to Applied Physics and Backwards [Abstract] [Video] [Slides]
10:45 -- 11:05 Coffee Break
Session 2: Swarms and Ensemble Control
11:05 -- 11:40 Spring Berman and Shiba Biswal Decentralized Control of Multi-Agent Systems using Local Density Feedback [Abstract] [Video] [Slides]
11:40 -- 12:15 Jr-Shin Li Moment-Based Ensemble Control using Aggregated Measurements [Abstract] [Video] [Slides]
12:15 -- 13:30 Lunch Break
Session 3: Data-Driven Design of Population Observers and Controllers
13:30 -- 14:05 Shen Zeng Sample-based Population Observers [Abstract] [Video] [Slides]
14:05 -- 14:40 Efstathios Bakolas Real-time Trajectory Generation Algorithms for Uncertain Dynamical Systems Using Covariance Steering [Abstract] [Video] [Slides]
14:40 -- 15:00 Coffee Break
Session 4: Nonlinear Regulation and Interpolation
15:00 -- 15:35 Abhishek Halder Finite Horizon Optimal Density Regulation for Nonlinear Systems [Abstract] [Video] [Slides]
15:35 -- 16:10 Yongxin Chen Density Control, Covariance Steering, and Optimization over Distributions [Abstract] [Video] [Slides]
16:10 -- 16:55 All Q&A and Discussions [Video]
16:55 -- 17:00 Organizers Closing Remarks and Adjourn