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  1. Summary

    The manipulation of networked cyberphysical devices via local external actuation or feedback control is explored, in the context of a canonical multiagent dynamical system that is engaged in a consensus or synchronization task. One main focus is to understand whether or not, and how easily, a stakeholder can manipulate the full network's dynamics by hijacking only one agent's actuation signal. Explicit spectral characterizations are given of the energy (effort) required to manipulate the dynamics. These characterizations are used to (1) gain structural insights into ease of manipulation, (2) show that manipulation along the consensus manifold is easy, and (3) address network design to enable or prevent manipulation. Additionally, it is shown that the multiagent system can be manipulated effectively along the consensus manifold using local feedback controls, which do not require model knowledge or wide‐area measurements.

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