Società Italiana Reti Neuroniche

Modeling and Control of Decisions in Stochastic Multi-Agents Systems

Prof. Laura Giarrè

Engineering Department ’Enzo Ferrari’

University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy


We consider interactions in multi-agent systems, where part of the agents interact with a system that can be externally controlled and can be considered as a super-agent or the environment. Such models arise in finance, traffic, smart grid and social networks, We model the agents’ decision process as a Markov Chain and the externally controlled system as a dynamical system. We formulate the problem of controlling the probability that a set of agents make a specific decision as a Model Predictive Control problem and also as an explicit feedback law. Simulation results from different everyday life examples (a broker suggesting investments two clients, traffic control in a two-line highway, or a group of people intending to purchase a specific brand t-shirt) are considered. The results reveal the potential of the considered modeling and control framework for applications where the decisions of a set of agents are to be influenced to achieve a desired objective.


Laura Giarrè is a Control System Professor. She received the “Laurea” degree summa cum laude in Electronic Engineering from the University of Florence in 1986 and the Ph.D. in System Engineering from the University of Bologna, Italy in 1992. In 1987 she was Researcher at the Research Laboratory of the Motorways Public Company. During the period 1988-1993 she was with the Department of Systems and Computer Science of the University of Florence, Italy. From 1993 to 1998 she was Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer and Control Engineering of the Turin Polytechnic, Torino, Italy. From 1998 to 2016, she was at the University of Palermo, Italy as Associate Professor and since 2016 she joined University of Modena and Reggio Emilia as Full professor at the Department of Engineering ’Enzo Ferrari’, in Modena, Italy. From 2020 to 2022 she has been also Adjunct Professor at the I.I.R Department of ICT and Natural Science – Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) – Ålesund, Norway. She spent several periods (Fall 1996, Fall 1997, Winter/Spring 1999, Winter and Fall 2006) as Visiting Professor at CCDC, University of California at Santa Barbara, at the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, MIT, Boston, in 2015 as visiting scientist at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of MIT (Cambridge) and in 2018 as visiting professor at the Johan Kepler University of Linz (Austria). Her research interests include identification, control of networked systems, assistive technology, focusing her attention on localization, navigation and obstacle avoidance for assisting blinds and low vision people and recently she has been interested in opinion dynamics modeling and control. She serves as chair of the IEEE Italian chapter of System, Man and Cybernetics society, and she is in the technical board of the Fondazione Ampioraggio. She is active in gender balance in STEM.