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Plenary lecture: The changing face and role of CACSD

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1 Author(s)
Maciejowski, J.M. ; University of Cambridge, USA

Computer Aided Control Engineering involves three parallel streams: Simulation and modelling, Control system design (off-line), and Controller implementation. In industry the bottleneck problem has always been modelling, and this remains the case - that is where control (and other) engineers put most of their technical effort. Although great advances in software tools have been made, the cost of modelling remains very high - too high for some sectors. Object-oriented modelling, enabling truly re-usable models, seems to be the key enabling technology here. Software tools to support control systems design have two aspects to them: aiding and managing the work-flow in particular projects (whether of a single engineer or of a team), and provision of numerical algorithms to support control-theoretic and systems-theoretic analysis and design. The numerical problems associated with linear systems have been largely overcome, so that most problems can be tackled routinely without difficulty - though problems remain with (some) systems of extremely large dimensions. Recent emphasis on control of hybrid and/or constrained systems is leading to the emerging importance of geometric algorithms (ellipsoidal approximation, polytope projection, etc). Constantly increasing computational power is leading to renewed interest in “design by optimisation”, an example of which is MPC. Innovations in commercial tools, however, emphasise project-management rather than systems-theoretic support. The explosion of “embedded” control systems has highlighted the importance of autocode generation, directly from modelling/simulation products to target processors. This is the ‘new kid on the block’, and again much of the focus of commercial tools is on this part of the control engineer's job. Here the control engineer can no longer ignore computer science (at least, for the time being).

Published in:

Computer Aided Control System Design, 2006 IEEE International Conference on Control Applications, 2006 IEEE International Symposium on Intelligent Control, 2006 IEEE

Date of Conference:

4-6 Oct. 2006