State-based Channel Access for a Network of Control Systems
Sammanfattning: Wireless networked control systems use shared wireless links to communicate between sensors and controllers, and require a channel access policy to arbitrate access to the links. Existing multiple access protocols perform this role in an agnostic manner, by remaining insular to the applications that run over the network. This approach does not give satisfactory control performance guarantees. To enable the use of wireless networks in emerging industrial applications, we must be able to systematically design wireless networked control systems that provide guaranteed performances in resource-constrained networks.In this thesis, we advocate the use of state-based channel access policies. A state-based policy uses the state of the controlled plant to influence access to the network. The state contains information about not only the plant, but also the network, due to the feedback in the system. Thus, by using the state to decide when and how frequently to transmit, a control system can adapt its contribution to the network traffic, and enable the network to adapt access to the plant state. We show that such an approach can provide better performance than existing methods. We examine two different state-based approaches that are distributed and easy to implement on wireless devices: event-based scheduling and adaptive prioritization.Our first approach uses events to reduce the traffic in the network. We use a state-based scheduler in every plant sensor to generate non-coordinated channel access requests by selecting a few critical data packets, or events, for transmission. The network uses a contention resolution mechanism to deal with simultaneous channel access requests. We present three main contributions for this formulation. The first contribution is a structural analysis of stochastic event-based systems, where we identify a dual predictor architecture that results in separation in design of the state-based scheduler, observer and controller. The second contribution is a Markov model that describes the interactions in a network of event-based systems. The third contribution is an analysis of the stability of event-based systems, leading to a stabilizing design of event-based policies.Our second approach uses state-based priorities to determine access to the network. We use a dominance protocol to evaluate priorities in a contention-based setting, and characterize the resulting control performance. An implementation and evaluation of this channel access mechanism on sensor nodes is also presented.The thesis finally examines the general networked control problem of jointly optimizing measurement and control policies, when a nonlinear measurement policy is used to perform quantization, event-triggering or companding. This contribution focuses on some of the fundamental aspects of analyzing and synthesizing control systems with state-based measurement policies in a more generalized setting. We comment on the dual effect, certainty equivalence and separation properties for this problem. In particular, we show that it is optimal to apply separation and certainty equivalence to a design problem that permits a dynamic choice of the measurement and control policies.
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