Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Seddik Djouadi

Committee Members

Seddik Djouadi, Husheng Li, Xiaopeng Zhao, Dan Wilson


The advancements in the fields of microelectronics facilitate incorporating team elements like coordination into engineering systems through advanced computing power. Such incorporation is useful since many engineering systems can be characterized as a collection of interacting subsystems each having access to local information, making local decisions, interacting with neighbors, and seeking to optimize local objectives that may well conflict with other subsystems, while also trying to optimize certain global objective. In this dissertation, we take advantage of such technological advancements to explore the problem of resource allocation through different aspects of the decentralized architecture like information structure in a team.

Introduced in 1968 as a toy example in the field of team decision theory to demonstrate the significance of information structure within a team, the Witsenhausen counterexample remained unsolved until the analytical person-by-person optimal solution was developed within the past decade. We develop a numerical method to implement the optimal laws and show that our laws coincide with the optimal affine laws. For the region where the optimal laws are non-linear, we show that our laws result in the lowest costs when compared with previously reported costs.

Recognizing that, in the framework of team decision theory, the difficulties arising from the non-classical information structure within a team currently limit its applicability in real-world applications, we move on to investigating Centroidal Voronoi Tessellations (CVTs) to solve the resource allocation problem. In one-dimensional spaces, a line communication network is sufficient to obtain CVTs in a decentralized manner, while being scalable to any number of agents in the team.

We first solve the static resource allocation problem where the amount of resource is fixed. Using such static allocation solution as an initialization step, we solve the dynamic resource allocation problem in a truly decentralized manner. Furthermore, we allow for flexibility in agents' embedding their local preferences through what we call a civility model. We end the dissertation by revisiting the application of Demand-response in smart grids and demonstrate the developed decentralized dynamic resource allocation method to solve the problem of power allocation in a group of building loads.

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