Distributed Control and Verification

Researchers: Carolina Lidström, Martin Heyden, Richard Pates, Hamed Sadeghi, Kaoru Yamamoto, Anders Rantzer

Funding: Swedish Research Council


Most of control theory has been developed in a centralized setting, where all measurements are processed together to compute the control signals. This paradigm has conceptual advantages, but also inherent limitations. In contrast, industrial practice often relies on distributed control structures. Hence, there is a strong need for theory and methodology supporting design and verification of distributed controllers. The purpose of this research project is to address this need along three main directions:

  • Structured H-infinity optimal control. Non-uniqueness of H-infinity optimal controllers is exploited for derivation of distributed control structures.
  • Scale Free Performance. Distributed and decentralised control architectures are inherently limited when compared to their centralised counterparts. This can result in the emergence of seemingly fundamental undesirable behaviours. We investigate both the types of behaviours that can be regulated in a scale free manner, and those that cannot.
  • Scalable Integral Quadratic Constraints. We are exploring scalable versions of classical anlysis methods for feedback systems. Driving applications range from neuro-science to structural engineering and stochastic optimization.


Yan Jiang, Richard Pates, Enrique Mallada: "Performance tradeoffs of dynamically controlled grid-connected inverters in low inertia power systems". In 56th IEEE Annual Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2017, 2018.

Richard Pates, Carolina Lidström, Anders Rantzer: "Control Using Local Distance Measurements Cannot Prevent Incoherence in Platoons". In 56th IEEE Annual Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2017, 2018.

Carolina Lidström, Richard Pates, Anders Rantzer: "H-infinity Optimal Distributed Control in Discrete Time". In 56th IEEE Annual Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2017, 2018.

Anders Rantzer, Carolina Lidström, Richard Pates: "Structure Preserving H-infinity Optimal PI Control". IFAC-PapersOnLine, 50:1, pp. 2573–2576, 2017.

Richard Pates, Glenn Vinnicombe: "Scalable Design of Heterogeneous Networks". IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 62:5, pp. 2318–2333, 2017.

Richard Pates: "Characterising Stability Implying Properties that are Preserved under Feedback". In 55th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 2016, 2016.

Richard Pates: "A Loopshaping approach to Controller Design in Networks of Linear Systems". In 54th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2015, 2015.