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A unified method for evaluating real-time computer controllers and its application

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3 Author(s)
Shin, K.G. ; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Krishna, C. ; Yann-Hang Lee

A computer-controlled system is a synergistic coupling of the controlled process and the controller computer. We have defined new performance measures for real-time controller computers based on this coupling. We present a systematic study of a typical critical controlled process in the context of new performance measures that express the performance of both controlled processes and controller computers (taken as a unit) on the basis of a single variable: controller response time. Controller response time is a function of current system state, system failure rate, electrical and/or magnetic interference, etc., and is therefore a random variable. Control overhead is expressed as monotonically nondecreasing function of the response time and the system suffers catastrophic failure, or dynamic failure, if the response time for a control task exceeds the corresponding system hard deadline, if any. The controlled-process chosen for study is an aircraft in the final stages of descent, just prior to landing. Control constraints are particularly severe during this period, and great care must be taken in the design of controllers that handle this process. First, the performance measures for the controller are presented. Second, control algorithms for solving the landing problem are discussed, and finally the impact of our performance measures on the problem is analyzed, showing that the performance measures and the associated estimation method have potential use for designing and/or evaluating real-time controllers and controlled process. In common with all other control techniques, the computational complexity involved in obtaining these measures is susceptible to the curse of dimensionality.

Published in:

Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 4 )