If your plant is nonlinear, a controller designed to operate in a particular target region may perform poorly in other regions. The common way to compensate is to design multiple controllers, each intended for a particular combination of operating conditions. Switch between them in real-time as conditions change. Gain scheduling is a conventional example of this technique. The following example shows how to coordinate multiple model predictive controllers for this purpose.
The rest of this section is an illustrative example organized as follows:
A Two-Model Plant describes the example application involving two distinct operating conditions.
Animation of the Multi-Model Example explains how to simulate the plant.
Designing the Two Controllers shows how to obtain the controllers for each operating condition.
The figure below is a stop-action snapshot of the plant. It
consists of two masses,
M1 (upper) and
A spring connects
M1 to a rigid wall and pulls
it to the right. An applied force, shown as a red arrow, opposes the
M1 to the left.
In the above, mass
M2 is uncontrollable.
It responds solely to the spring pulling it to the left.
If the two masses collide, however, they stick together until a change in the applied force separates them.
The control objective is to make
a reference signal. The blue triangle in the above indicates the desired
location, which varies with time. At the instant shown, the desired
numeric location is -5.
For an animated version of the plant, see Scheduling Controllers for a Plant with Multiple Operating PointsScheduling Controllers for a Plant with Multiple Operating Points.
In order to achieve its objective, the controller can adjust
the applied force magnitude (the length of the red arrow). It receives
continuous measurements of the
M1 location. There
is also a contact sensor to signal collisions. The
M1 were isolated, this would be a routine
control problem. The challenge is that the relationship between the
applied force and
M1's movement changes
M2 attaches to
Define the model.
Define the system parameters.
M1 = 1; % mass M2 = 5; % mass k1 = 1; % spring constant k2 = 0.1; % spring constant b1 = 0.3; % friction coefficient b2 = 0.8; % friction coefficient yeq1 = 10; % wall mount position yeq2 = -10; % wall mount position
Define a model of
M1 when the masses are
separated. Its states are the position and velocity of
Its inputs are the applied force, which will be the controller's
manipulated variable (MV), and a spring constant calibration signal,
which a measured disturbance (MD) input.
A1 = [0 1;-k1/M1 -b1/M1]; B1 = [0 0;-1/M1 k1*yeq1/M1]; C1 = [1 0]; D1 = [0 0]; sys1 = ss(A1,B1,C1,D1); sys1 = setmpcsignals(sys1,'MV',1,'MD',2);
The call to
the input type for the two inputs.
Define another model (with the same input/output structure) to predict movement when the two masses are joined.
A2 = [0 1;-(k1+k2)/(M1+M2) -(b1+b2)/(M1+M2)]; B2 = [0 0;-1/(M1+M2) (k1*yeq1+k2*yeq2)/(M1+M2)]; C2 = [1 0]; D2 = [0 0]; sys2 = ss(A2,B2,C2,D2); sys2 = setmpcsignals(sys2,'MV',1,'MD',2);
Next, define controllers for each case. Both controllers employ
a 0.2 second sampling period (
Ts), a prediction
p = 20, a control
m = 1 and default
values for all other controller parameters.
The only property that distinguishes the two controllers is the prediction model.
Ts = 0.2; p = 20; m = 1; MPC1 = mpc(sys1,Ts,p,m); % Controller for M1 detached from M2 MPC2 = mpc(sys2,Ts,p,m); % Controller for M1 connected to M2
The applied force also have the same constraints in each case. The lower bound for the applied force is zero because it cannot reverse direction. The maximum rate of change for the applied force is 1000 per second (increasing or decreasing).
MPC1.MV = struct('Min',0,'RateMin',-1e3,'RateMax',1e3); MPC2.MV = struct('Min',0,'RateMin',-1e3,'RateMax',1e3);
The following is the Simulink block diagram for this example.
The upper portion simulates the movement of the two masses, plots the signals as a function of time and animates the plant.
The lower part contains the following key elements:
A pulse generator that supplies the desired
(the controller reference signal). The output of the pulse generator
is a square wave that varies between —5 and 5, with a frequency
of 0.015 per second.
Simulation of a contact sensor. When the two masses
have the same position, the Compare to Constant block
true and the
converts this to a 2. Else, the output of
The Multiple MPC Controllers block,
which has four inputs. The measured output (
ref) and measured disturbance (
inputs are as for the MPC Controller block. The distinctive
feature of the Multiple MPC Controllers block is the
The figure below shows the Multiple MPC Controllers block mask for this example.
switch input is 1, the block automatically
activates the first controller that is listed (
which is appropriate when the masses are separated. When the
is 2, the block automatically enables the second controller (
Simulate the controller performance using Simulink commands.
Tstop = 100; % Simulation time y1initial = 0; % Initial M1 and M2 Positions y2initial = 10; open('mpc_switching'); sim('mpc_switching',Tstop);
The figure below shows the
In the upper plot, the cyan curve is the desired position. It
starts at -5. The
M1 position (yellow) starts at
0. Under the control of
rapidly towards the desired position.
starts at 10 and begins moving in the same direction.
t = 13 seconds,
M1. The switching signal (lower plot) changes
at this instant from 1 to 2, so
MPC2 takes over.
The completely inelastic collision moves
from its desired position and
M2 remains joined
the applied force (middle plot) so
M1 quickly returns
to the desired position.
When the desired position changes step-wise to 5, the two masses
separate briefly, with the controller switching to
But, for the most part, the two masses move together and settle rapidly
at the desired location. The transition back to —5 is equally
Suppose we force
MPC2 to operate under all
The figure below shows the result.
When the masses are disconnected, as at the start,
excessive force and then over-compensates, resulting in oscillatory
behavior. Once the masses join, the move more smoothly, as would be
The last transition causes especially severe oscillations. The
masses collide frequently and
M1 never reaches
the desired position.
MPC1 is in charge exclusively, the masses
move sluggishly and fail to settle at the desired position before
the next transition occurs. For more information, see the Scheduling Controllers for
a Plant with Multiple Operating PointsScheduling Controllers for
a Plant with Multiple Operating Points.
In this application, at least, two controllers are, indeed, better than one.