Exploiting Packet Size in Uncertain Nonlinear Networked Control Systems

Abstract : This paper addresses the problem of stabilizing uncertain nonlinear plants over a shared limited-bandwidth packet-switching network. While conventional control loops are designed to work with circuit-switching networks, where dedicated communication channels provide almost constant bit rate and delay, many networks, such as Ethernet, organize data transmission in packets, carrying larger amount of information at less predictable rates. To avoid the bandwidth waste due to the relatively large overhead inherent to packet transmission, we exploit the packet payload to carry longer control sequences. To this aim we adopt a model-based approach to remotely compute a predictive control signal on a suitable time horizon, which leads to effectively reducing the bandwidth required to guarantee stability. We consider networks for which both the time between consecutive accesses to each node (MATI) and the transmission and processing delays (MAD) for measurements and control packets are bounded. Communications are assumed to be ruled by a rather general protocol model, which encompasses many protocols used in practice. As a distinct improvement over the state of the art, our result is shown to be robust with respect to sector-bounded uncertainties in the plant model. Namely, an explicit bound on the combined effects of MATI and MAD is provided as a function of the basin of attraction and the model accuracy. A case study is presented to appreciate the improvements induced by the packet-based control strategy over existing methods.
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Luca Greco, Antoine Chaillet, Antonio Bicchi. Exploiting Packet Size in Uncertain Nonlinear Networked Control Systems. Automatica, Elsevier, 2012, 48 (11), pp.2801--2811. ⟨hal-00583525⟩

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