Skip to Main Content
This paper considers joint problems of control and communication in wireless sensor and actuator networks (WSANs) for building-environment control systems. In traditional control systems, centralized control (CC) and distributed control (DC) are two major approaches. However, little work has been done in comparing the two approaches in joint problems of control and communication, particularly in WSANs serving as components of control loops. In this paper, we develop a CC scheme in which control decisions are made based on global information and a DC scheme which enables distributed actuators to make control decisions locally. We also develop methods that enable wireless communications among system devices compatible with the control strategies, and propose a method for reducing packet-loss rate. We compare the two schemes using simulations in many aspects. Simulation results show that the DC can achieve a comparable control performance of the CC, while the DC is more robust against packet loss and has lower computational complexity than the CC. Furthermore, the DC has shorter actuation latency than the CC under certain conditions.