Estimation & control in spatially distributed cyber physical systems



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Kansas State University


A cyber physical system (CPS) is an intelligent integration of computation and communication infrastructure for monitoring and/or control of an underlying physical system. In this dissertation, we consider a specific class of CPS architectures where state of the system is spatially distributed in physical space. Examples that fit this category of CPS include, smart distribution gird, smart highway/transportation network etc. We study state estimation and control process in such systems where, (1) multiple sensors and actuators are arbitrarily deployed to jointly sense and control the system; (2) sensors directly communicate their observations to a central estimation and control unit (ECU) over communication links; and, (3) the ECU, on computing the control action, communicates control actions to actuators over communication links. Since communication links are susceptible to random failures, the overall estimation and control process is subjected to: (1) partial observation updates in estimation process; and (2) partial actuator actions in control process. We analyze stochastic stability of estimation and control process, in this scenario by establishing the conditions under which estimation accuracy and deviation from desired state trajectory is bounded. Our key contribution is the derivation of a new fundamental result on bounds for critical probabilities of individual communication link failure to maintain stability of overall system. The overall analysis illustrates that there is trade-off between stability of estimation and control process and quality of underlying communication network.
In order to demonstrate practical implication of our work, we also present a case study in smart distribution grid as a system example of spatially distributed CPSs. Voltage/VAR support via distributed generators is studied in a stochastic nonlinear control framework.



Kalman filter, Linear quadratic control, Cyber-physical system, Stochastic stability

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Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Major Professor

Balasubramaniam Natarajan