Cardinality Constrained Robust Optimization Applied to a Class of Interval Observers
McCarthy, Philip James
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Observers are used in the monitoring and control of dynamical systems to deduce the values of unmeasured states. Designing an observer requires having an accurate model of the plant — if the model parameters are characterized imprecisely, the observer may not provide reliable estimates. An interval observer, which comprises an upper and lower observer, bounds the plant's states from above and below, given the range of values of the imprecisely characterized parameters, i.e., it defines an interval in which the plant's states must lie at any given instant. We propose a linear programming-based method of interval observer design for two cases: 1) only the initial conditions of the plant are uncertain; 2) the dynamical parameters are also uncertain. In the former, we optimize the transient performance of the interval observers, in the sense that the volume enclosed by the interval is minimized. In the latter, we optimize the steady state performance of the interval observers, in the sense that the norm of the width of the interval is minimized at steady state. Interval observers are typically designed to characterize the widest interval that bounds the states. This thesis proposes an interval observer design method that utilizes additional, but still-incomplete information, that enables the designer to identify tighter bounds on the uncertain parameters under certain operating conditions. The number of bounds that can be refined defines a class of systems. The definition of this class is independent of the specific parameters whose bounds are refined. Applying robust optimization techniques, under a cardinality constrained model of uncertainty, we design a single observer for an entire class of systems. These observers guarantee a minimum level of performance with respect to the aforementioned metrics, as we optimize the worst-case performance over a given class of systems. The robust formulation allows the designer to tune the level of uncertainty in the model. If many of the uncertain parameter bounds can be refined, the nominal performance of the observer can be improved, however, if few or none of the parameter bounds can be refined, the nominal performance of the observer can be designed to be more conservative.