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pool

R. Rivas-Perez a, *, V. Feliu-Batlle b, F.J. Castillo-Garcia b, A. Linares-Saez c

a

Department of Automatica and Computer Science, Havana Polytechnic University, Calle 114 No 11901, CUJAE, Marianao,

Ciudad de la Habana C.P. 19390, Cuba

b

Escuela Tcnica Superior de Ingenieros Industriales, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Universitario s/n, Ciudad Real C.P. 13005, Spain

c

ABEIMA, Avda la Buharia, 2, Sevilla 41018, Spain

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:

Received 3 October 2013

Accepted 3 October 2013

Available online 31 October 2013

This paper describes the formulation and development of a mathematical model for high-performance

robust controller design techniques, based on a complete identication for control procedure, of an irrigation main canal pool (true plant), which is characterized by the exhibition of large variations in its

dynamic parameters when the discharge regime changes in the operating range [Qmin, Qmax]. Real-time

eld data has been used. Four basic steps of the proposed procedure have been dened in which all the

stages, from the design of the experiments to the model validation, are considered. This procedure not

only delivers a nominal model of the true plant, but also a reliable estimate of its model uncertainty

region bounded by the true plant models under minimum and maximum operating discharge regimes

(limit operating models). The model uncertainty set, dened by the nominal model and its uncertainty

region, is characterized by its being as tight as possible to the true irrigation main canal pool. The obtained results are very promising since this kind of models facilitates the design of robust controllers,

which allow improving the operability of irrigation main canal pools and also substantially reduce water

losses.

2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:

Systems identication

Irrigation canal

Time-varying parameters

Model uncertainty set

Robust controller

Water efcient use

1. Introduction

A signicant part of the control system design of irrigation main

canals is devoted to obtaining their mathematical models. These

mathematical models should provide an accurate description of the

relevant irrigation main canal pool dynamics. The physical dynamics of an irrigation main canal pool (plant) are usually modeled

and simulated by using the SainteVenant equations, owing to their

capacity to represent the nonlinear hydraulic characteristics of real

interest (Chaudhry, 1993). These equations are not easy to use

directly as a model for control system design (Kovalenko, 1983;

Litrico and Fromion, 2009; Rivas-Perez et al., 2007). Linearization

or simplications of the SainteVenant equations are therefore

recurrently used by the irrigation canal control research community. Linear and rational models open up the possibility to apply

well-known control system design techniques, which are relatively

easy to implement.

E-mail addresses: raul_rivas_perez@yahoo.es, rivas@electrica.cujae.edu.cu

(R. Rivas-Perez), Feliu.Batlle@uclm.es (V. Feliu-Batlle).

1364-8152/$ e see front matter 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2013.10.002

users variable water needs. In order to satisfy water demand, the

irrigation main canals need to be operated under different

discharge regimes in the range [Qmin, Qmax], in order to maintain

water levels and supply the desired discharge rates at specic locations. Experiments developed by certain authors (Deltour and

Sanlippo, 1998; Litrico et al., 2006; Rivas-Perez et al., 2008a;

Schuurmans et al., 1999) conrm that when the discharge regimes

change in the operating range [Qmin, Qmax] and/or other hydraulic

parameters change, the irrigation main canal pools may exhibit

large variations in their dynamic parameters. The mathematical

models to be obtained must therefore consider these parameter

variations. Indeed, control system design methods are usually

based on a nominal model, whereas the dynamics of irrigation

main canal pools vary with the alteration in operating hydraulic

conditions, thus causing uncertainties in the nominal model (FeliuBatlle et al., 2011; Litrico et al., 2006; Rivas-Perez et al., 2011).

Identication for control is an area in which a renewed interest

has been shown since the beginning of the 1990s and which still

attracts a growing number of researchers (Gevers, 2005). One of its

main objectives is to estimate mathematical models that are suitable for high performance robust control design techniques

208

and its uncertainties regions (Chen and Gu, 2000).

Various works concerning the design of robust controllers to

control water distribution in irrigation main canal pools, which are

characterized by large time-varying dynamic parameters, have

been reported (Calderon-Valdez et al., 2009; Feliu-Batlle et al.,

2005, 2011; Litrico and Fromion, 2009; Rivas-Perez et al., 2002).

These controllers should guarantee a specied minimum level of

performance for the whole range of variation of canal pool

dynamical parameters (model uncertainty set). One of the main

problems in the design of robust controllers is that of systematically

obtaining the model uncertainty set when the irrigation canal is

operating under different discharge regimes (Litrico and Fromion,

2009; Kovalenko et al., 1993; Rivas-Perez, 1984). In this paper, an

identication for control procedure is used to obtain a reliable

model uncertainty set of a main irrigation canal pool when the

design of a robust controller is demanded.

The paper makes an intensive use of standard model structures

and algorithms found in the literature, for example in Data-Based

Mechanistic (DBM) modeling of hydrological and other environmental systems (see, e.g. Andrews et al., 2011; Camacho and Lees,

1999; Jakeman et al., 2006; Lekkas et al., 2001; McIntyre et al.,

2011; Ochieng and Otieno, 2009; Ooi and Weyer, 2008; Price

et al., 1999; Romanowicz et al., 2006; Young, 1998, 2011; Young

and Garnier, 2006).

The main contributions of this paper are: 1) to the best of our

knowledge it is the rst time that a complete algorithmic procedure

has been formulated and developed (using real-time eld data) for

the identication for robust control of an irrigation main canal pool,

which is characterized by the exhibition of large variations in its

dynamic parameters when the discharge regime changes in the

operating range; 2) the estimation, through the use of real-time

eld data and the Prediction Error Framework, of a nominal

model of the true plant and its explicit uncertainty region, bounded

by the true plant models under minimum (lower) and maximum

(upper) operating discharge regimes (limit operating models); 3)

the derivation of a true plant model uncertainty set, dened by the

nominal model and its uncertainty region, which is characterized

by its being as tight as possible to the true plant; 4) the design of a

robust controller for an irrigation main canal pool based in this

model uncertainties set. The approaches used in this paper for

obtaining the mathematical model are within the indirect techniques based directly on the experimental data (Garnier and Wang,

2008). The obtained plant mathematical model has been developed

using the software platform of the System Identication Toolbox of

Matlab.

The paper is organized as follows. In Section 2 the algorithmic

procedure is presented in four steps. The main results are given in

Section 3. Section 4 provides some comments and conclusions.

pool change with variations in its operating discharge regime (Q(t)).

The identication experiments should therefore be developed so

that they represent the typical discharge regimes in which the true

plant is operated; b) according to robust control theory it is desirable to reduce the model uncertainty region as little as possible, i.e.,

to make the nominal model represent the true plant dynamics as

well as possible, or to make the model uncertainty set as tight as

possible; and c) in irrigation main canal pool practice the limit

operating discharge regimes are obtained when Q(t) Qmin (minimum (lower) limit of Q(t)) and Q(t) Qmax (maximum (upper)

limit of Q(t)) with Q(t) [Qmin, Qmax]. The subscripts min, nom, max

represent respectively the minimum, nominal and maximum

discharge regimes.

This paper focuses on the application of this four basic steps

algorithm in order to obtain a mathematical model for highperformance robust control of an irrigation main canal pool.

3. Results

In this Section we develop the four basic steps algorithm in the

identication for control procedure proposed in Section 2 for the

rst pool of the Aragon Imperial Main Canal (AIMC).

3.1. Irrigation main canal description

The irrigation main canal considered in this paper is the Aragon

Imperial Main Canal, which pertains to the Ebro Hydrographical

Confederation in Zaragoza, Spain. It obtains its water from the Ebro

River thanks to the elevation of the Pignatelli dam. The water

passes through the Gate House, which controls the designed

discharge at its origin, although this value may sometimes be superior as a result of a high ow in the Ebro River. The Ebro River

represents the Spanish most important catchment of the Iberian

Peninsula (Pedregal et al., 2009). The AIMC is a 108 km long crossstructure canal. It has a trapezoidal cross-section and ten pools of

different lengths which are separated by undershoot ow gates.

Several of the pools in the AIMC are characterized by timevarying dynamics when the discharge regimes change in the

operating range [Qmin, Qmax] and/or other hydraulic parameters

change (Rivas-Perez et al., 2011). The controllers which are

currently installed do not, therefore, guarantee an effective water

distribution control. In order to improve the control and management of the whole AIMC, the implementation of decentralized

robust control systems of water distribution has been considered

for canal pools that are characterized by time-varying dynamics.

These systems will be based on independently tuned robust controllers to which additional control elements will be added in order

to minimize pool interactions. The rst step in this study is,

therefore, to obtain the control-oriented models of the canal pools.

2. Methodology

3.2. Design of the experiments (step 1 of the procedure)

We propose the following four basic steps algorithm for the

identication for control procedure of a true irrigation main canal

pool from N eld sampled measurements of the input and output

Z N futk ; ytk gN

k1 .

Step 1: Design of the experiments;

Step 2: Data collection, parameter estimation and validation of

the linear nominal model of the true plant under nominal operating

discharge regime (Q(t) Qnom);

Step 3: Data collection, parameter estimation and validation of

the linear models of the true plant under limit operating discharge

regimes (model uncertainty region);

Step 4: Delivery of the true plant model uncertainty set,

comprised by the nominal model and its uncertainty region.

The eld data and results reported in this paper were obtained

from the rst pool in the AIMC, which is known as the Bocal. It is a

lined trapezoidal canal pool of 8 km in length, with a variable depth

of between 3.5 and 4.15 m, a variable width of between 21 and

26.9 m, and a design maximum discharge of 30 m3/s, in its entire

extension. Fig. 1 shows an upper view of the Bocal in which it is

possible to observe the Ebro River, the Pignatelli dam, and the Gate

House.

This canal pool is operated in a downstream end regulation

mode (Kovalenko, 1983). The downstream end water level is

controlled by means of 10 upstream undershoot gates located in

the Gate House on the side of the canal. The measurements available

209

2009; Rivas-Perez et al., 2008b; Schuurmans et al., 1999) show

that canal pools similar to the Bocal experience large variations in

their model parameters when the operating discharge regimes

change across their upstream control gates.

The Bocal is operated under different discharge regimes through

its upstream control gates which change randomly. For control

oriented modeling the main operating discharge regimes are: the

nominal operating discharge regime (Q(t) Qnom(t) 22 m3/s) and

the limit operation discharge regimes: the minimum (lower)

operating discharge regime (Q(t) Qmin(t) 15 m3/s), and the

maximum (upper) operating discharge regime (Q(t) Qmax(t)

30 m3/s). The variation range of the operating discharge regimes of

this canal pool is therefore:

Fig. 1. An upper view of the Bocal.

end (ydwe(t)) water levels and the position of the control gates

(u(t)). Fig. 2 shows an equivalent diagram of the Bocal in which the

10 control gates are represented by means of an equivalent control

gate.

The opening magnitude of each upstream control gate depends

on the discharge that it is necessary to deliver and which is derived

from the Ebro River. For example, if it were necessary to deliver a

discharge that required an opening magnitude of 150 cm in the

upstream control gates, 5 control gates would simultaneously open

with an opening magnitude of 30 cm, which is equivalent to a total

gate opening magnitude of 150 cm. The 10 control gates can

therefore be represented by means of a single equivalent control

gate, which has an opening range of 0e700 cm. The discharge

through the equivalent control gate is estimated in real time by the

computer (PC) of the canal pool using the respective sensor signals

and the following equation (Chaudhry, 1993):

Q t Cd L

q

p

2g ut yup t ydw t;

(1)

is the gravity acceleration. This information is very important for

accurate operation of the canal pool and for effective management

of irrigation water. The canal pool PC also estimates the variations

of the downstream end water level and of the equivalent control

gate by the expressions: Dydwe(t) ydwe_f(t) ydwe_ini(t), Du(t)

uf(t) uini(t) where the subscripts f, ini denote respectively the nal

and initial values.

with Qnom Qmin ; Qmax :

(2)

upstream control gates is the nominal regime. The linear model

obtained under the most common operating discharge regime

constitutes the nominal model. When the Bocal is operated under

other discharge regimes, different from the nominal, the dynamic

behavior of the nominal plant undergoes variations, and in this case

the model parametric uncertainties are obtained. These uncertainties are bounded (model uncertainty region) by the limit

operation discharge regimes.

Bearing in mind that the Bocal is operated in a downstream end

regulation mode, the control oriented model will thus consider the

downstream end water level variation Dydwe(t) as the output variable, and the equivalent control gate position variation Du(t) as the

input variable. The fundamental disturbance variable v(t) is the

unknown offtake discharge q(t), which is shown in Fig. 2, together

with the effects of pool interactions (upstream and downstream). It

is not necessary to know the water level variations for the entire

extension of the pool in order to control the water distribution in

the Bocal. It is sufcient to measure them at certain specic points

which will depend on the canal operating method to be used

(Rivas-Perez, 1984). In this case, since the water distribution is

carried out by gravity offtakes, a good distribution is obtained by

maintaining a constant water level at the offtake. Therefore, a linear

model with lumped parameters and a time delay can adequately

characterize the dynamic behavior of an irrigation main canal pool

at the measurement points.

210

linear nominal model of the true plant under nominal operating

discharge regime (step 2 of the procedure)

This step has the following two stages: a) nonparametric identication, and b) parametric identication (Ljung, 1999). The

nonparametric identication is very often a rst step in obtaining

experimental information on the dynamic properties of a plant. In

this case a preliminary experiment, such as a step response, is

performed to gain primary knowledge (by visual inspection) about

plant dynamic characteristics. Generally, this provides good insights into important properties of the plant, as e.g. the presence

and length of time delays, possible model order, static gain and

time constants (Van den Hof and Bombois, 2004). The information

obtained from nonparametric identication is then used in parametric identication to determine the plant model based on a more

excitation signal, e.g. a pseudo random binary sequence (PRBS).

As was pointed out in the previous Subsection, the linear

nominal model of the real plant is obtained when the operating

discharge regime through the upstream control gates corresponds

to the nominal discharge regime (Q(t) Qnom(t) 22 m3/s). This

operating discharge regime is usually achieved with a total opening

magnitude of the equivalent control gate of 140 cm.

a) Nonparametric identication: Experiment based on the

response to a step like input was carried out in order to obtain

primary knowledge about the model order and time delay. The

experiment consists of maintaining the downstream gate in a xed

position, and then applying a step command of 120 cm to the

equivalent control gate (unom_ini(t) 20 cm). Therefore, a total of 5

upstream control gates received a simultaneous increment in their

opening magnitudes of 24 cm, in such a way that a total equivalent

83.0

166.0

249.0

332.0

415.0

249.0

332.0

415.0

time (min)

170

120

70

20

83.0

166.0

time (min)

Fig. 4. Experimental eld data of the Bocal obtained with a PRBS under nominal operating discharge regime.

The data of the upstream (yup_nom(t)), downstream (ydw_nom(t)) and

downstream end (ydwe_nom(t)) water levels, along with those of the

total opening magnitude of equivalent control gate unom_f(t), were

registered and stored in the canal pool PC. The sampling device

installed in the Bocal, samples data every second. The water levels

and gate position are given in cm and were uniformly sampled with

a period of 1 min. The variations Dydwe_nom(t) and Dunom(t) were

estimated by the canal pool PC. For simplicity we denote

Dydwe_nom(t) Dynom(t). The plant response under the nominal

operating discharge regime to a step command is presented in

Fig. 3. Based in this response it is assumed that the nominal dynamic behavior of the rst pool in the AIMC can be described by the

following general second order plus time delay transfer function:

Gnom s

Dynom s

Knom

esnom s ;

Dunom s

T1nom s 1T2nom s 1

(3)

where Knom is the static gain, T1nom, T2nom are the time constants,

and snom is the time delay. We consider that T1nom is the dominant

time constant (the largest of those associated with the dynamics of

the canal pool), while T2nom is the smallest time constant that

represents the motors equivalent control gate dynamics secondary canal dynamics. T2nom is usually much smaller than T1nom

(Rivas-Perez et al., 2007).

The transfer function (3) is similar to that obtained by other

authors (e.g. Litrico and Fromion, 2009). It is a standard model of

the type used in DBM modeling of hydrological and other environmental systems (Young, 2011, 1998). The second order assumed

dynamics for this model needs to be conrmed in the next stage

(parametric identication and model validation) of this step using

model structures with different orders, delays and sampling period

(Garnier and Wang, 2008). The approximated nominal values of the

parameters estimated from Fig. 3 are Knom z0.044 cm/cm, T1nom

z46.95 min, T2nom z0.85 min, snom z6 min, tss_nom z78.33 min

(settling time). The model evaluation (Bennett et al., 2013), i.e. the

comparison of the step test and the prediction given by the linear

model (3) with the parameters estimated nominal values, is shown

in Fig. 3 also.

b) Parametric identication: Experiment based on the response

to a pseudo random binary sequence (PRBS) as input was also

carried out in order to collect data containing the maximum information with regard to the dynamic behavior of the nominal

plant. The PRBS are persistent excitation signals, which contain

frequency spectrums that are sufciently wide to represent the real

plant dynamics (Ljung, 1999). This command sequence was

designed in such a way that signicant, although not very large,

downstream end water level variations were obtained. According

to the linear system theory (Dorf and Bishop, 2005), in order to

capture the main dynamic behavior of a real plant, its input should

be excited around the frequency at which its Bode diagram presents

bends, i.e. around the plant cutoff frequency. This frequency may be

computed by means of the time constants of the nominal plant

obtained in the experiment based on the step command.

It was determined that the PRBS should change the upstream

control gate opening magnitude at intervals that were multiples of

10 min with a maximum variation interval of 50 min. The sampling

period was 1 min. In this case, the downstream gate was again kept

in a xed position and the equivalent control gate received an

increment in its opening magnitude of 120 cm in such a way that

a total equivalent control gate opening magnitude of 140 cm was

achieved. These experiments lasted 415 min (approximately 7 h).

The experimental eld data collected was stored in a computer and

they are shown in Fig. 4. An additional procedure was that of

211

splitting the collected data into data for estimation and data for

validation (left and right of the vertical red line, respectively).

The data collected from these experiments were analyzed with

the purpose of verifying their suitability for the parameter estimation procedure. Their adequacy was veried and these data

were, therefore, used directly in this step of the proposed identication for control procedure. Different model structures such as

ARX, OE, BoxeJenkins and ARMAX were tested to determine which

of them best described the dynamic behavior of the nominal plant.

These structures are the most used in the design of control systems

and are represented by means of the following expressions (Ljung,

1999):

Aq b

y ARX

b

y OE

b

y BJ

nom t

Bq nk

q

unom t xOE

Fq

Bq nk

Cq

x

q

unom t

Fq

Dq BJ

nom t

nom t

Aq b

y ARMAX

nom t

nom t;

(4)

nom t;

(5)

nom t;

(6)

nom t;

(7)

where b

y ARX nom t; b

y OE nom t; b

y BJ nom t; b

y ARMAX nom t are the

nominal model output signals (the estimated downstream end

water level) of the respective structures ARX, OE, BoxeJenkins and

ARMAX (j structures), A(q), B(q), C(q), D(q) and F(q) are polynomials

dened as: A(q) 1 a1q1.anaqna; B(q) b1q1.bnbqnb;

C(q) 1 c1q1.cncqnc; D(q) 1 d1q1.dndqnd;

F(q) 1 f1q1.fnfqnf, na, nb, nc, nd, nf are the orders of the

respective polynomials, ai, bi, ci, di, f are the parameters of the

polynomials to be estimated, nk is the plant time delay, and xARx_nom(t), xOE_nom(t), xBJ_nom(t), xARMAx_nom(t) are uncorrelated random

white noise sequences with zero mean of the nominal model

structures ARX, OE, BoxeJenkins and ARMAX.

The parameter estimation procedure for the selected model

structures was developed using the data located to the left of the

vertical line in Fig. 4 and the Matlab System Identication Toolbox.

q N nom j of each of

The estimation of the nominal parameter vector b

the selected model structures j (from a nominal data set) was carried out on the basis of the Prediction Error framework using a least

mean square criterion to minimize the prediction error. This

parameter vector was computed by means of the following

expression (Ljung, 1999):

b

q

N nom j

arg min

qnom

arg min

qnom

N

1 X

2 t; qnom j

N t1 j

N

2

1 X

y nomj t; qnom j ;

ynom t b

N t1

(8)

where j(t,qnomj), b

y nom j t; qnom j are the prediction error and the

nominal model output signal of the selected model structure j, and

N is the total number of the nominal eld data used in the

parameter estimation (N 300). The nominal parameter vector

b

q N nom j was estimated for different model orders, time delays and

sampling periods in order to obtain the nominal model that best

reproduces the eld data in each of the selected model structures j.

Once the parameter estimation phase has been concluded, it is

necessary to decide whether the nominal models obtained are

sufciently accurate for the plants dynamic behavior under the

nominal operating discharge regime. The procedure used to evaluate the quality of the nominal models obtained is known as model

212

Table 1

Validation results of the plant nominal models.

Model

structure

residual error (cm)

(na, nb, nc, index (FIT)

nd, nf, nk)

ARX

OE

BoxeJenkins

ARMAX

ARX

OE

BoxeJenkins

ARMAX

(1,

(1,

(1,

(1,

(2,

(2,

(2,

(2,

1,

1,

1,

1,

2,

2,

2,

2,

5)

5)

1, 1, 5)

1, 6)

6)

5)

2, 2, 7)

2, 6)

72.55%

72.86%

72.41%

72.55%

76.28%

83.90%

80.26%

87.08%

1.0 < e(t) < 1.25

0.65 < e(t) < 0.64

0.7 < e(t) < 0.7

0.7 < e(t) < 0.58

0.53 < e(t) < 0.55

0.58 < e(t) < 0.6

0.4 < e(t) < 0.4

FPE

AIC

0.0708

0.1676

0.0684

0.0717

0.0499

0.0781

0.0567

0.0355

2.648

1.786

2.682

2.636

2.998

2.549

2.868

3.337

cross-validation method (Bennett et al., 2013) and by using the

experimental data located to the right of the vertical red line

(N 120) shown in Fig. 4, which were reserved for this purpose.

This procedure gives a good indication of whether or not the

identied model captures the dominating dynamics of the true

plant. The cross-validation results of the estimated nominal models

showed that the best dynamic behavior in each of the selected

model structures j was obtained with second order models. These

results are presented in Table 1. These second order nominal

models were adjusted with different time delays and sampling

period.

The nominal model that would best reproduce the dynamic

behavior of the nominal plant was selected by quantifying the

degree of accuracy of each of the nominal models with regard to the

validation data. This was done by using a performance index (FIT),

which constituted a quantitative measure of the model quality

which could be obtained from the norm of the residual errors. The

variance of the residual error was also used, which in turn is equal

to the average value of the residual error spectrum (Ljung, 1999).

The residual error is the part of the data that the model could not

reproduce, and it therefore bears information about the quality of

the model. Performance indexes and variances of the residual errors calculated from the second order nominal models obtained are

shown in Table 1. For comparison purposes, this table also shows

the performance indexes and the variances of the residual errors

obtained from the rst order models of each of the selected model

structures j. Table 1 shows that the best performance index (87.08%)

was obtained by the second order nominal model with the ARMAX

structure. This index is approximately 10.8%, 3.2% and 6.8% higher

than the respective indexes obtained with the ARX, the OE and the

BoxeJenkins model structures. This table also shows that the

smallest variance of the residual errors was obtained with the same

ARMAX structure nominal model.

The Akaikes Final Prediction Error (FPE) criterion was used to

evaluate the model quality. Its closely related Information Theoretic

Criterion (AIC) (Ljung, 1999) was also used. According to Akaikes

theory, in a collection of different models the most accurate is the

one with the smallest FPE (or AIC). Table 1 shows that the smallest

FPE (or AIC) was obtained by the second order nominal model with

the ARMAX structure.

Table 2

Performance indexes of the nominal models using different Ts.

Model

Model order Performance Performance Performance Performance

structure (na, nb, nc, index (FIT) index (FIT) index (FIT) index (FIT)

Ts 2 min Ts 1.5 min Ts 1 min Ts 0.5 min

nd, nf, nk)

ARX

OE

Boxe

Jenkins

ARMAX

(2, 2, 6)

74.21%

(2, 2, 5)

80.32%

(2, 2, 2, 2, 7) 76.60%

75.42%

81.19%

78.48%

76.87%

83.20%

80.26%

76.28%

82.90%

79.32%

(2, 2, 2, 6)

85.29%

87.08%

86.41%

85.29%

obtaining eld data is one of the important options in system

identication (Ljung, 1999). Table 2 shows the effects of the sampling period in the nominal model accuracy with different model

structures. From this table it is observed that the best performance

index (87.08%) was obtained by the second order nominal model

with the ARMAX structure with a sampling period of 1 min. This

model can be explicitly represented by means of the following

expression:

b

y ARMAX

nom t

1:4022b

y ARMAX

nom t

0:435 b

y ARMAX

1

nom t

2

0:0007786unom t 5

0:0005905unom t 6 xARMAX

0:9736xARMAX

nom t

0:1508xARMAX

nom t 2:

nom t

1

(9)

The cross-validation results of the nominal model (9) are presented in Fig. 5. This gure shows that the obtained nominal model

adequately reproduces the eld plant data, even when considering

data that were not used in the parameter estimation.

In the residual analysis of the model (9), the auto-correlation

function of the residuals and the cross-correlation function between the input and the residuals do not go outside of the 99%

condence regions, as shown in Fig. 6. The residuals are, therefore,

white and totally uncorrelated with the input signal. We can thus

be satised with the accuracy of the model (9). The true plant

nominal model selected (9) can therefore be represented in the

Laplace domain by means of the following transfer function:

h

b nom s G

bu

G

nom s

bv

H

nom s

(10)

where:

bu

G

nom s

Dynom s

0:0417

e6s ;

(11)

bv

H

nom s

Dynom s

4:24s 10:9s 1

:

Dvnom s

15:84s 11:3s 1

(12)

model of the Bocal are different from those obtained from the step

response because the parametric identication procedure is more

rigorous and is not based on graphical results.

3.4. Data collection, parameter estimation and validation of the

linear models of the true plant under limit operating discharge

regimes (model uncertainty region) (step 3 of the procedure)

For the design of a high performance robust controller it is

extremely important to know the variation ranges of the dynamic

parameters of the plant nominal model, i.e. DG(s) (Litrico and Fromion,

2009), since the robust control paradigm pursues the design of one

linear controller to stabilize a set of linear models in DG(s) and achieve

the best worst-case performance over DG(s) (Chen and Gu, 2000;

Gevers, 2005). Therefore, it is necessary to identify the dynamic

behavior of the true plant under the limit operation discharge regimes.

3.4.1. Linear model of the true plant under minimum operating

discharge regime

The minimum operating discharge regime through the upstream

control gates (Q(t) Qmin 15 m3/s) is obtained when the users water

213

1

0.5

0

0.5

10

lag

15

20

25

Cross corr. function between input unom and residuals from output yARMAXnom

0.5

0.5

25

20

15

10

0

lag

10

15

20

25

regime as a result of a reduction in the water needed for irrigation. In

this case, a minimum volume of water ows through the upstream

control gates, the celerity coefcient decreases, and the canal pool

dynamic parameters therefore undergo considerable changes (Litrico

and Fromion, 2009; Rivas-Perez et al., 2011). This operating discharge

regime is usually achieved with a total opening magnitude of the

equivalent control gate of 120 cm. Therefore, the equivalent control

gate received an increment in its opening magnitude of 100 cm in

such a way that a total gate opening magnitude of 120 cm was achieved. The experimental eld data collected under this operating

discharge regime were stored in a computer and ltered. These

experimental eld data are shown in Fig. 7.

The model that best represents the dynamic behavior of the true

plant under this operating discharge regime was estimated by

following the same procedure as that shown in Subsection 3.3. As a

result, the following second order model with the ARMAX structure

and time delay was obtained:

Table 3

Validation results of the plant ARMAX models under limit operating discharge regimes.

Limit operating

discharge regimes

Model order

(na, nb, nc, nk)

Performance

index (FIT)

Variance of the

residual error (cm)

FPE

AIC

Minimum operating

discharge regime

Maximum operating

discharge regime

(2, 2, 2, 7)

85.6%

0.0389

3.245

(2, 2, 2, 5)

80.04%

0.0644

2.739

214

Fig. 8. The cross-validation results of the true plant ARMAX models under minimum and maximum operating discharge regimes.

Fig. 7. Experimental eld data of the Bocal obtained with a PRBS under minimum and maximum operating discharge regimes.

Table 4

Model uncertainty set of the true plant.

Model uncertainty set of the true plant

Model

parameters

Nominal model

b nom s)

(G

b

Bounds of uncertainty region (D Gs)

Maximum discharge

regime model

Minimum discharge

regime model

K (cm/cm)

T1 (min)

T2 (min)

s (min)

Knom 0.0417

T1nom 15.84

T2nom 1.3

snom 6

Kmin 0.0303

T1min 13.33

T2min 1.11

smin 5

Kmax 0.0736

T1max 25.18

T2max 1.37

smax 7

215

magnitude of the equivalent control gate of 180 cm. The data

collected under this operating discharge regime are shown in Fig. 7.

Similarly, the model that best represents the dynamic behavior of

the true plant under this operating discharge regime was estimated. As a result, the following second order model with the

ARMAX structure and time delay was obtained:

b

y ARMAX

max t

1:334 b

y ARMAX

max t

0:3768 b

y ARMAX

1

max t

2

0:0007545umax t 4

0:0005458umax t 5 xARMAX

b

y ARMAX

min t

1:443 b

y ARMAX

min t

0:4632 b

y ARMAX

1

min t

2

1:0151xARMAX

max t

0:2312xARMAX

max t 2;

max t

1

(17)

0:0008367umin t 6

0:0006479umin t 7 xARMAX

0:9903xARMAX

min t 1

0:1406xARMAX

min t

min t

2:

(13)

validation data set are shown in Fig. 8, and also in Table 3. This table

also presents the variance of the residual error, the FPE and the AIC.

The model (13) can thus be represented in the Laplace domain

by means of the following transfer function:

i

b

b

b

G

min s G u min s G v min s ;

validation data set are shown in Fig. 8 and also in Table 3. This table

also shows the variance of the residual error, the FPE and the AIC.

The model (17) has been represented in the Laplace domain by

means of the following transfer function:

h

b max s G

bu

G

b

G

u

min s

Dymin s

0:0736

e7s ;

Dumin s

25:18s 11:37s 1

(15)

b

G

v

min s

Dymin s

5:18s 10:89s 1

:

Dvmin s

25:18s 11:37s 1

(16)

discharge regime

The maximum operating discharge regime through the upstream control gates is obtained when Q(t) Qmax 30 m3/s. This

bv

G

max s

(18)

where:

bu

G

max s

Dymax s

0:0303

e5s ;

(19)

bv

G

max s

Dymax s

2:85s 11:03s 1

:

Dvmax s

13:33s 11:11s 1

(20)

(14)

where:

max s

3.5. The model uncertainty set of the true plant (step 4 of the

procedure)

It is well known that the hydraulic parameters (the friction coefcient, the pool geometry, the downstream water elevation, the

main velocity, etc.) and/or the discharge regime Q(t) of main irrigation canal pools may change randomly within the operating

range, thus originating uncertainties in the nominal model

dynamical parameters. Therefore, the exact dynamic behavior of

these canal pools is unknown on multiple occasions. This has been

reported by various authors (see e.g. Deltour and Sanlippo, 1998;

Fig. 9. Step responses of the true plant model uncertainty set obtained.

216

Fig. 10. Bode plots of the true plant model uncertainty set obtained.

6

Mnom

= 4.99%

p

4

tnom

= 20.65 min

s

20

40

60

80

100

time (min)

120

140

160

180

200

Fig. 11. Nominal time response of the Bocal with PI controller (25).

et al., 1999). These parametric uncertainties are bounded (model

uncertainty region DG(s)) by the limit operation discharge regimes

models in the following ranges:

(Gevers, 2005):

D

Kmin Kt Kmax ; T1min T1 t T1max ; T2min T2 t T2max ;

smin st smax :

(21)

Consequently, the model uncertainty set of the true plant is

comprised of its nominal model and all the models (family of

models) that can be found in its uncertainty region, which is

bounded by the true plant limit operating models (minimum and

maximum discharge regime models). The true plant model

n

GD

o

b nom s D Gs

b

G

;

(22)

b

where D Gs

is the model uncertainty region, bounded by the true

plant limit operating discharge regime models. Table 4 shows the

model uncertainty set of our true plant bounded by the parameters

of the limit models, which were derived using the results yielded in

Subsections 3.3 and 3.4.

The time-domain responses and the Bode plots of the resulting

true plant model uncertainty set when the discharge regime

changes in the operating range [Qmin, Qmax] are presented in Figs. 9

and 10. For time domain responses was used a total equivalent

b

Fig. 12. PI controller: settling time and overshoot of the time responses when operating discharge regime changes (D Gs).

217

designing equation of the controller (23) has been found (FeliuBatlle et al., 2011):

cosfm jsinfm

;

b u nom juc

G

(24)

Fig. 13. Block diagram of the control system with SP based HN robust controller.

gures show both the response of the true plant nominal model

and its uncertainty region bounded by the responses of the true

plant models under minimum and maximum operating discharge

regimes (limit models).

It should be noted that such plants are highly nonlinear and

therefore the obtaining of approximate linear models for the design

of robust controller is very complicated.

3.6. Application case of the obtained model: robust controller

design

In this Subsection we develop the design of a robust controller

for our irrigation main canal pool using the model uncertainty set

(22), whose ranges of parameters variations are shown in Table 4.

Let us assume the following required control objectives: a) nominal

b nom s): settling time t nom z20 min, overshoot M nom 5%,

plant ( G

s

p

steady state error enom

0; b) entire range of operating discharge

ss

b

regimes (D Gs):

settling time tsr 45 min, overshoot Mpr z30%,

steady state error erss 0.

In order to illustrate how hard these required control objectives

are, a PI controller embedded in a conventional feedback control

scheme is rstly designed in order to fulll the nominal operating

discharge regime requirements. Once this controller is tuned, the

requirements for the entire range of variation of the operating

discharge regimes will be checked. The frequency-domain based

design procedure of the PI controller will be used considering the

b nom s. The transfer function of the conplant nominal model G

ventional PI controller is represented as:

RPI s Kp

Ki

;

s

(23)

respectively. By means of the conventional frequency requirements

where <() and J() represent real and imaginary parts of a complex

number respectively. The gain crossover frequency uc is related to

the settling time tsnom of the response to a step command, while the

phase margin fm is related to the time response overshoot Mpnom .

Using the second order transfer function relation between the

settling time and the gain crossover frequency, and between the

overshoot and the phase margin as a rst approximation (Dorf and

Bishop, 2005), the following PI controller is easily obtained:

RPI s 33:38

1:682

;

s

(25)

and fm 62.1. Note that owing to the integral action of the PI

controller, the steady state error enom

of the response of the

ss

controlled system to a step command must be zero. The time

response of the nominal plant with the PI controller (25) is shown

in Fig. 11.

These results show that the PI controller (25) fulll the time

domain requirements for the nominal operating discharge regime

of our canal pool (control objective (a)). Nevertheless, if the settling

time and the overshoot of the time responses for all discharge regimes are obtained, we can check that these requirements are not

b

fullled at all for the entire range of variation D Gs

(control

objective (b)). Fig. 12 presents the variation of the time response

settling time and overshoot when the operating discharge regime

changes from the maximum discharge regime to its minimum one

b

(D Gs).

This gure also represents the region that denes the

fulllment of the control objective (b), and shows that, although the

PI controller (25) guarantees the nominal requirements, the

resulting settling time and overshoot are often higher than their

allowed values when the operating discharge regime varies.

Objective b) can be ensured by controller (25) only near the nominal operating discharge regime.

Then a Smith predictor (SP) based HN robust controller is

designed to fulll control objectives (a) and (b) simultaneously, as

an illustrative application of the identication for control procedure

developed in the previous Subsections. The SP based control

nom

Mp

= 0.107%

2

tnom = 20.67 min

s

20

40

60

80

100

time (min)

120

140

160

180

200

218

b

Fig. 15. SP based HN robust controller: settling time and overshoot of the time responses when the operating discharge regime changes (D Gs).

pools with time delay (see e.g. Castillo-Garcia et al., 2011; Deltour

and Sanlippo, 1998; Guin et al., 1989; Rivas-Perez, 1984).

Fig. 13 shows the block diagram of the proposed robust control

system, where Y*(s), U(s) and Y(s) are the signals: reference, control,

and system output respectively, RN(s) is the HN controller. The true

plant G(s) and the nominal plant model Gnom(s) have been represented as G(s)G0 (s)ess and Gnom s G0nom sesnom s being G0 (s)

and G0nom s the rational part of G(s) and Gnom(s) respectively.

Assuming as rst instance a perfect tuning of the SP control

system, i.e., Gnom(s) G(s), the HN controller can be designed for

G0nom s using the frequency responses of the obtained model unb

certainty set (D Gs),

which has been shown in Fig. 10. Using the

proposed method in (Farhati et al., 2012; Morari and Zariou, 1989),

we can select the weighting functions of the HN controller as:

W1

s

SN

us

s S0 us

(26)

S 1/(1 G0 (s)), S0 the maximum steady-state error allowed and us

the minimum bandwidth frequency at 3 dB, W2 is usually chosen

as a constant. Choosing us 0.21 rad/s (see Fig. 10), a nearly zero

robust controller is obtained as:

RN s

s3

:

21:98s2 72:37s 0:015

(27)

robust controller (27). Note that this controller provides the same

settling time than the PI controller, but with a nearly zero overshoot

value. We shall mention that this nominal time response cannot be

provided by a PI controller embedded in a unity feedback control

scheme (time response that is shown in Fig. 11 is the best one that

can be provided by the PI controller for the nominal operating

discharge regime).

If the settling time and the overshoot of the time responses for

b

all operating discharge regimes (D Gs)

are obtained, we can check

that these requirements are now fullled for the entire range of

variation of operating discharge regimes (control objective (b)).

Fig. 15 shows the variation of the time response settling time and

the overshoot when the operating discharge regimes change from

b

the maximum discharge regime to its minimum one (D Gs).

This

gure also represents the regions where the control objective (b) is

fullled.

Fig. 16. PI controller vs. SP based HN robust controller: time responses for different discharge regimes.

Finally, Fig. 16 compares the time responses that both controllers (25) and (27) provide for the minimum, nominal and maximum

operating discharge regimes. From this gure it is observed that the

quality of the time response of the Bocal control system has been

signicantly improved throughout the range of variation of the

b

operating discharge regimes (D Gs)

if the designed robust

controller (27) were used.

4. Comments and conclusions

This paper develops a mathematical model for the design of a

robust control system of the most important pool of the AIMC,

known as the Bocal, in Spain. This research is in fact a rst step

towards the implementation of a high-performance robust control

system in the whole AIMC which will be based on this kind of

models. These control systems have a special relevance in irrigation

main canal pools whose dynamic parameters change drastically

with the discharge regime variations in the operating range [Qmin,

Qmax], and disturbances from different sources are present.

The approach proposed in this paper is based on a complete

algorithmic procedure of identication for control, which enables

one to deliver the nominal model Gnom(s) of the true plant when the

irrigation main canal pool is operated under a nominal discharge

regime (Q(t) Qnom) and also delivers an explicit model uncertainty

region DG(s) of the true plant when the Bocal is operated under

other discharge regimes, different from the nominal one. This uncertainty region is bounded by the limit operating models obtained

when the irrigation main canal pool is operated under minimum

(Q(t) Qmin) or maximum (Q(t) Qmax) discharge regimes. The

proposed algorithmic procedure thus delivers the true plant model

uncertainty set (22), which is dened by the true plant nominal

model and its uncertainty region.

The model has been developed based on the software platform

of system identication toolbox of Matlab. The wide range of applications in which MATLAB is the working framework shows that

it is a powerful, comprehensive and easy-to-use real-time environment for implementing different technologies, among which

are those related to identication and control of environmental

systems.

The proposed algorithmic procedure of identication for control

has been applied to deliver the model uncertainty set (22) with

parameter variation ranges shown in Table 4. This model has been

used later to design an HN controller (27) robust in all the above set.

Comparative simulations show that the time responses of the Bocal

obtained with this controller e which takes into account the canal

pool parameter variations provided by our identied model e

signicantly outperform the responses provided by a standard PI

controller designed only from information on the nominal plant

dynamics.

The results are very encouraging since control-oriented models

facilitate the design of highly efcient robust controllers, which

allow the operability of the irrigation main canal pools to be

increased and the service to the farmers to be improved. The next

objective of this research will be to extend the proposed procedure

to obtain a control-oriented model of the whole AIMC considering

pool interactions and wave propagations.

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to acknowledge the help received from the

Ebro Hydrographical Confederation authorities in carrying out this

research, the fruitful discussions concerning the modeling and

operation of irrigation main canals, and their unconditional support. The authors would also like to thank the journal editor, the

associated editor and the anonymous reviewers for their detailed

219

made the improvements to the original paper possible.

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