Network protocols and predictive control strategies for distributed real-time control applications

Tian, Guosong (2010) Network protocols and predictive control strategies for distributed real-time control applications. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


A trend in design and implementation of modern industrial automation systems is to integrate computing, communication and control into a unified framework at different levels of machine/factory operations and information processing. These distributed control systems are referred to as networked control systems (NCSs). They are composed of sensors, actuators, and controllers interconnected over communication networks. As most of communication networks are not designed for NCS applications, the communication requirements of NCSs may be not satisfied. For example, traditional control systems require the data to be accurate, timely and lossless. However, because of random transmission delays and packet losses, the control performance of a control system may be badly deteriorated, and the control system rendered unstable. The main challenge of NCS design is to both maintain and improve stable control performance of an NCS. To achieve this, communication and control methodologies have to be designed. In recent decades, Ethernet and 802.11 networks have been introduced in control networks and have even replaced traditional fieldbus productions in some real-time control applications, because of their high bandwidth and good interoperability. As Ethernet and 802.11 networks are not designed for distributed control applications, two aspects of NCS research need to be addressed to make these communication networks suitable for control systems in industrial environments. From the perspective of networking, communication protocols need to be designed to satisfy communication requirements for NCSs such as real-time communication and high-precision clock consistency requirements. From the perspective of control, methods to compensate for network-induced delays and packet losses are important for NCS design. To make Ethernet-based and 802.11 networks suitable for distributed control applications, this thesis develops a high-precision relative clock synchronisation protocol and an analytical model for analysing the real-time performance of 802.11 networks, and designs a new predictive compensation method. Firstly, a hybrid NCS simulation environment based on the NS-2 simulator is designed and implemented. Secondly, a high-precision relative clock synchronization protocol is designed and implemented. Thirdly, transmission delays in 802.11 networks for soft-real-time control applications are modeled by use of a Markov chain model in which real-time Quality-of- Service parameters are analysed under a periodic traffic pattern. By using a Markov chain model, we can accurately model the tradeoff between real-time performance and throughput performance. Furthermore, a cross-layer optimisation scheme, featuring application-layer flow rate adaptation, is designed to achieve the tradeoff between certain real-time and throughput performance characteristics in a typical NCS scenario with wireless local area network. Fourthly, as a co-design approach for both a network and a controller, a new predictive compensation method for variable delay and packet loss in NCSs is designed, where simultaneous end-to-end delays and packet losses during packet transmissions from sensors to actuators is tackled. The effectiveness of the proposed predictive compensation approach is demonstrated using our hybrid NCS simulation environment.

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ID Code: 41545
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Tian, Yu-Chu
Keywords: Networked Control Systems, Real-Time Control, Relative Clock Synchronisation, Communication Protocols, Cross-Layer Design, Predictive Control, NCS Simulation, Markov Model, IEEE 802.11 DCF, Critical Real-Time Traffic Condition
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 03 May 2011 05:48
Last Modified: 04 May 2011 10:02

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