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Anytime reliable codes for stabilizing plants over erasure channels

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2 Author(s)
Sukhavasi, R.T. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Hassibi, B.

The problem of stabilizing an unstable plant over a noisy communication link is an increasingly important one that arises in problems of distributed control and networked control systems. Although the work of Schulman and Sahai over the past two decades, and their development of the notions of “tree codes” and “anytime capacity”, provides the theoretical framework for studying such problems, there has been scant practical progress in this area because explicit constructions of tree codes with efficient encoding and decoding did not exist. To stabilize an unstable plant driven by bounded noise over a noisy channel one needs real-time encoding and real-time decoding and a reliability which increases exponentially with delay, which is what tree codes guarantee. We prove the existence of linear tree codes with high probability and, for erasure channels, give a construction with an expected decoding complexity that is constant per time instant. We give sufficient conditions on the rate and reliability required of the tree codes to stabilize vector plants and argue that they are asymptotically tight. This work takes an important step towards controlling plants over noisy channels, and we demonstrate the efficacy of the method through a simulation.

Published in:

Decision and Control and European Control Conference (CDC-ECC), 2011 50th IEEE Conference on

Date of Conference:

12-15 Dec. 2011