### Distributed Constrained Recursive Nonlinear Least-Squares Estimation: Algorithms and Asymptotics

**2016-02-01**

1602.00382 | math.OC

This paper focuses on the problem of recursive nonlinear least squares
parameter estimation in multi-agent networks, in which the individual agents
observe sequentially over time an independent and identically distributed
(i.i.d.) time-series consisting of a nonlinear function of the true but unknown
parameter corrupted by noise. A distributed recursive estimator of the
\emph{consensus} + \emph{innovations} type, namely $\mathcal{CIWNLS}$, is
proposed, in which the agents update their parameter estimates at each
observation sampling epoch in a collaborative way by simultaneously processing
the latest locally sensed information~(\emph{innovations}) and the parameter
estimates from other agents~(\emph{consensus}) in the local neighborhood
conforming to a pre-specified inter-agent communication topology. Under rather
weak conditions on the connectivity of the inter-agent communication and a
\emph{global observability} criterion, it is shown that at every network agent,
the proposed algorithm leads to consistent parameter estimates. Furthermore,
under standard smoothness assumptions on the local observation functions, the
distributed estimator is shown to yield order-optimal convergence rates, i.e.,
as far as the order of pathwise convergence is concerned, the local parameter
estimates at each agent are as good as the optimal centralized nonlinear least
squares estimator which would require access to all the observations across all
the agents at all times. In order to benchmark the performance of the proposed
distributed $\mathcal{CIWNLS}$ estimator with that of the centralized nonlinear
least squares estimator, the asymptotic normality of the estimate sequence is
established and the asymptotic covariance of the distributed estimator is
evaluated. Finally, simulation results are presented which illustrate and
verify the analytical findings.

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