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UMINF 09.04

Tools for Control System Design --- Stratification of Matrix Pairs and Periodic Riccati Differential Equation Solvers

Modern control theory is today an interdisciplinary area of research. Just as much as this can be problematic, it also provides a rich research environment where practice and theory meet. This Thesis is conducted in the borderline between computing science (numerical analysis) and applied control theory. The design and analysis of a modern control system is a complex problem that requires high qualitative software to accomplish. Ideally, such software should be based on robust methods and numerical stable algorithms that provide quantitative as well as qualitative information.

The introduction of the Thesis is dedicated to the underlying control theory and to introduce the reader to the main subjects. Throughout the Thesis, the theory is illustrated with several examples, and similarities and differences between the terminology from mathematics, systems and control theory, and numerical linear algebra are highlighted. The main contributions of the Thesis are structured in two parts, dealing with two mainly unrelated subjects.

Part I is devoted to the qualitative information which is provided by the stratification of orbits and bundles of matrices, matrix pencils and system pencils. Before the theory of stratification is established the reader is introduced to different canonical forms which reveal the system characteristics of the model under investigation. A stratification reveals which canonical structures of matrix (system) pencils are near each other in the sense of small perturbations of the data. Fundamental concepts in systems and control, like controllability and observability of linear continuous-time systems, are considered and it is shown how these system characteristics can be investigated using the stratification theory. New results are presented in the form of the cover relations (nearest neighbours) for controllability and observability pairs. Moreover, the permutation matrices which take a matrix pencil in the Kronecker canonical form to the corresponding system pencil in (generalized) Brunovsky canonical form are derived. Two novel algorithms for determining the permutation matrices are provided.

Part II deals with numerical methods for solving periodic Riccati differential equations (PRDE:s). The PRDE:s under investigation arise when solving the linear quadratic regulator (LQR) problem for periodic linear time-varying (LTV) systems. These types of (periodic) LQR problems turn up for example in motion planning of underactuated mechanical systems, like a humanoid robot, the Furuta pendulum, and pendulums on carts. The constructions of the nonlinear controllers are based on linear versions found by stabilizing transverse dynamics of the systems along cycles.

Three different methods explicitly designed for solving the PRDE are evaluated on both artificial systems and stabilizing problems originating from experimental controlsystems. The methods are the one-shot generator method and two recently proposed methods: the multi-shot method (two variants) and the SDP method. As these methods use different approaches to solve the PRDE, their numerical behavior and performance are dependent on the nature of the underlying control problem. Such method characteristics are investigated and summarized with respect to different user requirements (the need for accuracy and possible restrictions on the solution time).


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