Scalable and plug-and-play control design for cyberphysical systems

  • Giancarlo Ferrari Trecate (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
E1 05 (Leibniz-Saal)


Advances in computation, communication and embedded systems are enabling the deployment of cyberphysical systems of unprecedented complexity. This trend, which paves the way to technologies such as the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, and the Industrial Internet, must be paralleled by new approaches in networked control, adapted to large-scale interconnections of subsystems that interact and exchange information.

In this talk we will address scalability of control design, focusing on methods where the complexity of synthesising a local controller is independent of the overall system size. Scalable control design is especially needed in industrial applications where the number of subsystems changes over time, sensors and actuators must be replaced with minimal human intervention, or no global model is available. We will present methods for the plug-and-play synthesis of local controllers, enabling the seamless addition and removal of subsystems while denying automatically plug in and out requests that are dangerous for safety or stability.

Then, we will describe the plug-and-play design of voltage controllers for islanded microgrids, which are prominent examples of cyberphysical systems. The goal is to allow the connection and disconnection of generation units and loads while preserving overall voltage stability. Simulations and experiments will be presented for illustrating the applicability of control synthesis procedures. This is a first step towards the deployment of multi-owner, autonomous energy islands with flexible size and topology.

The final part of the talk will be devoted to research perspectives towards enhanced adaptivity and autonomy of cyberphysical control systems.