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Publication# Learning by weakly-connected adaptive agents

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the learning mechanism of adaptive agents over weakly-connected graphs and reveal an interesting behavior on how information flows through such topologies. The results clarify how asymmetries in the exchange of data can mask local information at certain agents and make them totally dependent on other agents. A leader-follower relationship develops with the performance of some agents being fully determined by other agents that can even be outside their immediate domain of influence. This scenario can arise, for example, from intruder attacks by malicious agents or from failures by some critical links. The findings in this work help explain why strong-connectivity of the network topology, adaptation of the combination weights, and clustering of agents are important ingredients to equalize the learning abilities of all agents against such disturbances. The results also clarify how weak-connectivity can be helpful in reducing the effect of outlier data on learning performance.

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