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1

Adaptive Control

To adapt means; to change the behavior to conform to new
circumstances. An adaptive controller is thus a controller that can
modify its behavior in response to changes in the dynamics of the
process and the character of the disturbances. Since ordinary
feedback control also attempts to reduce the effects of disturbances
and plant uncertainties; what is the difference between feedback
control and adaptive control? The difference is that an adaptive
controller is a controller with adjustable parameters and a
mechanism for adjusting the parameters. The controller becomes
nonlinear due to the parameter adjustment mechanism. A basic
adaptive control scheme thus has two loops. One loop is a normal
feedback loop with the process and controller. The other loop is the
parameter adjustment loop. A block diagram of the adaptive
control system is shown below. The essential aspects of an
adaptive scheme are:

1. Identification of unknown parameters or measurement of
an index of performance(IP)
2. Selection of the control strategy
3. On-line modification of the parameters of the controller or
the input signal.
In view of the above, we will make the following definition:

An adaptive control system measures a certain index of
performance (IP) using the inputs, the states and the outputs of
the adjustable system. From the comparison of the measured IP
values and a set of given ones, the adaptation mechanism
modifies the parameters of the adjustable controller or generates
an auxiliary input in order to maintain the IP values close to the
given ones.

2
Model Reference Adaptive Systems (MRAS)

This type of adaptive schemes are very popular because they are
easy to implement and less costly. This may be regarded as an
adaptive servo system in which the desired performance is
expressed using a reference model, which gives the desired
performance to a command signal. The reference model need not
be an actual hardware; but a model simulated on a computer. In the
block diagram given below, the system has an ordinary feedback
loop composed of the process and the controller (inner loop) and
another loop (outer loop) that consists of the reference model and
the adjustable mechanism that changes the controller parameters.
The parameters of the controller are changed on the basis of the
error that is the difference between the outputs of the model and
the actual plant.

m
y




Controller parameters



c
u

u y



The mechanism for adjusting the control parameter can be
obtained in two ways. (i) By using gradient method and (ii) By
applying Liapunov stability theory. First we will discuss the
MRAS using the MIT rule. The MIT rule is the original approach
to MRAS. The name is derived from the fact that it was developed
in the instrumentation laboratory at MIT. Surprisingly, both the
methods ends up in the same adaptive schemes and control
strategy.

Controller
Plant(un
known)
Adjutment
mechanism
Reference
model
3
The MIT Rule:

To present the MIT rule, we will consider a closed loop system in
which the controller has one parameter u . The desired close loop
response is specified by a model whose output is
m
y . Let e be the
error between the output of the actual system y and
m
y . One
possibility is to adjust the parameter in such a way that the loss
function,

2
2
1
) ( e J = u
,
is minimized. To make J small, the parameter is changed in the
direction of the negative gradient of J , that is,


u

u
c
c
=
c
c
c
c
=
c
c
=
e
e
e
e
J J
dt
d


This is the celebrated MIT rule. The partial derivative u c c / e ,
which is called the sensitivity derivative of the system, tell us how
the error is influenced by the adjustable parameter. If we assume
that the parameter changes are slower than the other parameters of
the system, the derivative u c c / e can be evaluated under the
assumption that u is a constant. It is also possible to define the
loss function as:


e
e J
dt
d
e J
sign
then ) (
u

u
u
c
c
=
c
c
=
=


The above procedure applies when there are many parameters to
adjust. Then, the symbol u is a vector and
u c c / e

is the gradient vector of the error with respect to the parameters.

4
Example: Adaptation of the feed forward gain

Consider the problem of adjusting the feed forward gain. In this
problem it is assumed that the process is linear with the transfer
function kG(s), where G(s) is known and k is an unknown
parameter. The underlying design problem is to find a feed forward
controller that gives a system with the transfer function
), ( ) ( s G k s G
o m
= where
o
k is a given constant. With the feed
forward controller
c
u u u = . Where u is the control signal and
c
u
the command signal, the transfer function from the command
signal to the output becomes ) (s G k u . This transfer function is
equal to ) (s G
m
if the parameter u is chosen to be k k
o
/ = u .


m
y

Model
-
e

u +
Process
c
u u y


We will now use the MIT rule to obtain a method for adjusting the
parameter u when k is not known. The error is


c o c m
u p G k u p G k y y e ) ( ) ( = = u


Here dt d p / = is the differential operator. The sensitivity
derivative is

m c
y
k
k
u P G k
e
0
) ( = =
c
c
u

) (
0
s G k
s


kG(s)


[
[

5
The MIT rule then gives the following adaptation law:

e y e y
k
k
dt
d
m m

u
= =
0
'

Where
0
/ ' k k = has been introduced instead of ' . The above
equation gives the law for adjusting the parameter. Notice that to
have the correct sign of , it is necessary to know the sign of k.
The block diagram of the adaptation system is shown below


m
y

Model
-
e

u +
Process
c
u u y


A remark on notaion: If u is a time varying parameter, the
expression
) ( ) ( u p G u
. where p = dp/dt differential operator,
should be interpreted as the differential operator G(p) acting on the
signal u u . If G(p) = p,


u p u p u
dt
d
dt
du
u p u p G ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( u u
u
u u u + = + = =


No approximations were needed in the above example, however
when MIT rule is applied to adjust more parameters of the
controller is necessary to use approximations as evident in the
following example.
) (
0
s G k
s


kG(s)


[
[

6
Example: MRAS for a first order system

Consider the first order system

u b ay
dt
dy
+ =

Where u is the control variable and y is the measured output. We
want to obtain the closed loop system described by the model

c m m m
m
u b y a
dt
dy
+ =



m
y - e

+


c
u + _ u y


1
u

2
u








Let us use the controller of the structure


) ( ) ( ) (
2 1
t y t u t u
c
u u =


The controller has two parameters and if they are chosen to be
) (s G
m

[

) (s G
[
s

[ [
m
m
a s
a
+
m
m
a s
a
+

7

b
a a
b
b
m
m

= =
= =
0
2
2
0
1
1
u u
u u


The input-output relations of the system and the model are the
same. This is called perfect model following. To apply the MIT
rule we introduce the error


m
y y e =


where e is the difference between the output of the actual system
and the reference model. From the system model, we have


) ( ) ( ) (
)) ( ) ( (
2
1
2 1
2 1
t u
b a p
b
t y
a p
b
t u
a p
b
t y t u
a p
b
u
a p
b
y
c c
c
u
u
u u
u u
+ +
=
+

+
=
+
=


The sensitivity derivatives are obtained by taking the partial
derivatives of the error w.r.t the controller parameters as


) (
) (
) (
) (
2
2
2
1
2
2
2 1
t y
b a p
b
t u
b a p
b e
t u
b a p
b e
c
c
u
u
u
u
u u
+ +
=
+ +
=
c
c
+ +
=
c
c

8

These formulas can not be used because the parameters a and b are
unknown. Approximations are therefore required. One possible
approximation is based on the observation that


m
a P b a p + ~ + +
2
u
Since under perfect model following
0 ;
2
= = u
m
a a



e t y
a p
a
t d
d
e t u
a p
a
t d
d
m
m
c
m
m
|
|
.
|

\
|
+
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
+
=
) (
) (
2
1

u


In these equations we have combined parameters
m
a b and
with
the adaptation gain

since they appear as a product


m
a b/ '
.
The sign of the parameter should be known to fix the correct sign
of

. Notice that the filter has also been normalized so that its
steady-state gain is unity.

The adaptive controller is a dynamical system with five state
variables (the model output, the parameters and the sensitivity
derivatives)

Exercise: Simulate the behavior of the system, choosing the
parameters as a =1, b =0.5 and 2 = =
m m
b a . The input signal is a
square wave with amplitude equal to 1 and for different values of

=0.2, 1.0 and 5. It can be seen that the parameters


1
u and
2
u
approaches asymptotically to 4 and 2, respectively, faster when

=5.

9
MRAS Using Liapunov Theory

Here Liapunov stability theory is used is used to construct adaptive
control algorithms to adjust the parameters of the control scheme.
To do this, we will first derive a differential equation for the error,
which contains the adjustable parameters of the system. We then
attempt to find a Lipnov function and an adaptation mechanism
such that the error will go to zero, asymptotically. The time
derivative of the Liapunov function usually, only positive semi-
definite. The procedure used here is to have a positive second
derivative, which requires further restrictions.

A First Order MRAS

Consider the first order system

u b y a y + =


Where u is the control variable and y is the measured output. We
want to obtain the closed loop system described by the model


c m m m m
u b y a y + =


Where
m
y
> 0, and reference signal
c
u
is bounded.
Let us use the controller of the structure


) ( ) ( ) (
2 1
t y t u t u
c
u u =


Introducing the error:


m
m
y y e
y y e
=
=

10
Since our aim is to reduce the error, we will derive the DE


c m m m
u b b y a a b e a e
) 1 2
( ) ( + + = u u


The error approaches to zero if the parameters assumes the values:


b
a a
b
b
m
m

= =
= =
0
2
2
0
1
1
u u
u u


Now, consider a candidate for the Liapunov function,

|
|
.
|

\
|
+ + + =
2
2
2
1
2
2
1
2 1
) (
1
) (
1
) , , (
m m
a a b
b
b b
b
e e V u

u u

Assuming that b > 0,

0 ) 0 ( ; 0 ) , , (
2 1
= > V e V u u

Note that = ) , , (
2 1
u u e V 0, when e = 0 and the parameters assumes
its correct values. For the function to qualify as a Liapunov
function, the time derivative should be negative. Taking the time
derivative:

( )
( ) e y a a b
e u b b e a
a a b b b e e V
m
c m m
m m
u u

u u

u u

u u

+ +
+ + =
+ + + =
2 2
1 1
2
2 2 1 1
) (
1
) (
1
) (
1
) (
1


11
) (s G
m

[

) (s G
[
s

[ [

The parameters are updated as:


e y
e u
c
u
u
=
=
2
1



These adaptation rules are similar to the ones obtained by MIT
rule. we get,


2
2 1
) , , ( e a e V
m
= u u



The time derivative of V is thus negative semi definite, but not
negative definite. ( comment on the result ! )


m
y e
--
+

c
u + u y
+ _

1
u
2
u







e e



Compare the above block diagram with that obtained by MIT rule.
In both the cases the parameter adjustment law can be written as:

12
e u =


Where u is a vector of parameters. For the Liapunov rule
( )
T
c
y u =
and for MIT rule
( )
T
c
m
m
y u
a p
a

+
=
We will conclude that, the Liapunov rule is simpler due to the
absence of the filters

m
m
a p
a
+

But in the Liahpunov rule, although the error will become zero, the
parameters will not assume its correct values. Since the time
derivative of V is negative semi-definite, the parameters are
bounded. Note the sensitivity derivatives,

1
u c
c e
and
2
u c
ce

are not used here and they assume some other values. So the order
of the controller dynamics is third order instead of five in the MIT
rule approach.

Exercise
Consider the process

) (
1
) (
a s s
s G
+
=

Where a is unknown. Determine a controller that can give the
closed loop system

2 2
2
2
) (
e e ,
e
+ +
=
s s
s G
m

Design MRACs controller based on (i) gradient method (ii)
Liapunov theory, and compare the result.


13
State Space Systems

We will now show how Liapunov theory can be used to derive
stable MRASs for general linear systems. The steps for the design
are

1. Fix up a controller structure
2. Derive the error equation
3. Find a Liapunov function and use it to a parameter updating
law such that the error will go to zero

Consider the linear system described by


u B x A x + =


It is desired to find a control law so that the response to a
command signal is given by


c m m m m
u B x A x + =

Let the control law be


x L u M u
c
=


The closed loop system then becomes


c c c
c
u B x A
u M B x L B A x
) ( ) (
) (
u u + =
+ =


The control law can be parameterized in different ways. All
parameters in the matrices A and B are free to be chosen. It is not
always possible to find the parameters u so that the above equation
is equivalent to the desired model system. One sufficient condition
is that there exists a parameter vector with values
0
u such that
14

m c
m c
B B
A A
=
=
) (
) (
0
0
u
u


This condition is perfect model following but very stringent. When
all the parameters in the control law can be freely selected, it
implies that


M B B
L B A A
m
m
=
=


Now we introduce error

c m m m
m
m
u B x A u B x A
x x e
x x e
+ =
=
=



Adding and subtracting x A
m
from right-hand side give


) (
) ) ( ( ) ) ( (
) ( ) (
0
u u
u u
+ =
+ + =
+ + =
e A
u B B x A A e A
u B BM x BL A A e A e
m
c m c m c m
c m m m



To obtain the last equality, it has been assumed that the conditions
for exact model following are satisfied. This is required for
0
u
to
exist. To derive a parameter adjustment law, we introduce the
Liapunov function


( ) ) ( ) ( ) , (
0 0
2
1
u u u u u + =
T T
e P e e V

15
where p is a positive definite matrix. The V function is positive
definite with 0 >
.
The time derivative becomes


( ) e P e Q e
e P e Q e e V
T T T
T T T
u u u
u u u u u u

+ + =
+ + =


) (
) ( ) ( ) , (
0
2
0 0
2


where Q is positive definite and such that

Q A P P A
m
T
m
= +

Such a matrix pair always exists if
m
A is stable. Let the parameter
adjustment law is chosen as:

e P
T
u =

; we get

e Q e V
T
2


The time derivative of the Liapunov function is negative semi-
definite. As before, we conclude that the error will go to zero and
the parameters are bounded.

Exercise
Consider a position servo described by

v y
u b v a v
=
+ =


The parameters a and b are unknown. Assume the control law
v y u u
c 2 1
) ( u u =
Desighn an adaptive controller that can give the closed loop system

2 2
2
2
) (
e e ,
e
+ +
=
s s
s G
m

16
Exercise: Simulate the behavior of the system, choosing the
parameters as a =1, b =0.5 and 2 = =
m m
b a . The input signal is a
square wave with amplitude equal to 1 and for different values of

=0.2, 1.0 and 5. It can be seen that the parameters


1
u and
2
u
approaches asymptotically to 4 and 2, respectively, faster when

=5.
Ans:
2
5 . 0
1 2
4
5 . 0
2
2
0
2
2
1
0
1
1
=

= =
= = = =
u u u
u u u
b
a a
b
b
m
m

y u t y t u t u
c c
2 4 ) ( ) ( ) (
2 1
= = u u
Exercise
Consider the process

) (
1
) (
a s s
s G
+
=

Where a is unknown. Determine a controller that can give the
closed loop system

2 2
2
2
) (
e e ,
e
+ +
=
s s
s G
m

Design MRACs controller based on (i) gradient method (ii)
Liapunov theory, and compare the result.
Ans: (i) Gradient method
y a u t y t u t u
a
a
b
a a
b
b
c c
m
m
) 2 ( ) ( ) ( ) (
2
1
2
1
1
1
2 1
2
0
2
2
1
0
1
1
= =
=

= =
= = = =
, u u
,
,
u u u
u u u


17
(ii) Liapunov method
y a u t y t u t u
a
a
b
a a
b
b
c c
m
m
) 2 ( ) ( ) ( ) (
2
1
2
1
1
1
2 1
2
0
2
2
1
0
1
1
= =
=

= =
= = = =
, u u
,
,
u u u
u u u

Exercise
Consider a position servo described by

v y
u b v a v
=
+ =


The parameters a and b are unknown. Assume the control law
v y u u
c 2 1
) ( u u =
Desighn an adaptive controller that can give the closed loop system

2 2
2
2
) (
e e ,
e
+ +
=
s s
s G
m

Ans:

1
1 2
; 1
1
) ( ) (
0 1 0
0
) (
for ng substituti ;
0
1
0 0
0 2
0 1 0
0
; Let
2 1
1 1 2
2 1

=

= = =
+ =
(

+
(


=
+ =
=
(

+
(

=
(

+
(

=
= =
,
u u
u u
u u u
,
b
b a
b
u B x A
u
b
x
b b a
u M B x L B A x
u x L u M u
u x x
u
b
x
a
x
y x v x
c c c
c
c
c
c m m