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The Controller Area Network (CAN) provides the basis for many cost-effective distributed embedded systems. In this paper, we present a novel approach to networked control systems (NCS) analysis and design that provides increased control performance for a set of control loops that share a single CAN network. This is achieved by enabling the following functionality for each control loop: first, standard periodic messaging is guaranteed to ensure stability, and second, non-periodic additional messaging is added whenever bandwidth is available in such a way that the aggregated control performance for all control loops is improved. To validate the presented approach, a proof-of-concept implementation is presented, and the extensive experimental results show the type of benefits that can be achieved as well as the resulting behavior depending on several key parameters. Moreover, it demonstrates that the approach can be implemented in practice.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2010