This paper deals with the problem of synchronization in networks of heterogeneous agents with common nominal behavior. The agents are modeled as (possibly nonlinear) perturbed versions of a common SISO nominal LTI operator, and they are interconnected via a sparse memoryless interconnection operator, coherent with the communication graph underlying the network. The network is said to synchronize if the outputs of the agents tend to align along given directions, the most important case being consensus, or agreement.
The paper provides a general result, based on IQCs, that ensures synchronization of the network with robustness w.r.t. uncertainties in the interconnection and in each agent’s dynamics. Scalability issues are discussed in the scenario where the interconnection operator is a constant normal matrix, yielding the generalization of the very popular linear consensus algorithm. The wide range of applicability of the proposed criterion is shown by providing synchronization conditions in some important examples. Whenever possible, graphical criteria are proposed for checking the required conditions.