Robust and distributed model predictive control with application to cooperative marine vehicles




Wei, Henglai

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Distributed coordination of multi-agent systems (MASs) has been widely studied in various emerging engineering applications, including connected vehicles, wireless networks, smart grids, and cyber-physical systems. In these contexts, agents make the decision locally, relying on the interaction with their immediate neighbors over the connected communication networks. The study of distributed coordination for the multi-agent system (MAS) with constraints is significant yet challenging, especially in terms of ubiquitous uncertainties, the heavy communication burden, and communication delays, to name a few. Hence, it is desirable to develop distributed algorithms for the constrained MAS with these practical issues. In this dissertation, we develop the theoretical results on robust distributed model predictive control (DMPC) algorithms for two types of control problems (i.e., formation stabilization problem and consensus problem) of the constrained and uncertain MAS and apply robust DMPC algorithms in applications of cooperative marine vehicles. More precisely, Chapter 1 provides a systematic literature review, where the state-of-the-art DMPC for formation stabilization and consensus, robust MPC, and MPC for motion control of marine vehicles are introduced. Chapter 2 introduces some notations, necessary definitions, and some preliminaries. In Chapter 3, we study the formation stabilization problem of the nonlinear constrained MAS with un- certainties and bounded time-varying communication delays. We develop a min-max DMPC algorithm with the self-triggered mechanism, which significantly reduces the communication burden while ensuring closed-loop stability and robustness. Chapter 4 investigates the consensus problem of the general linear MAS with input constraints and bounded time-varying delays. We design a robust DMPC-based consensus protocol that integrates a predesigned consensus protocol with online DMPC optimization techniques. Under mild technical assumptions, the estimation errors propagated over prediction due to delay-induced inaccurate neighboring information are proved bounded, based on which a robust DMPC strategy is deliberately designed to achieve robust consensus while satisfying control input constraints. Chapter 5 proposes a Lyapunov-based DMPC approach for the formation tracking control problem of co-operative autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) subject to environmental disturbances. A stability constraint leveraging the extended state observer-based auxiliary control law and the associated Lyapunov function is incorporated into the optimization problem to enforce the stability and enhance formation tracking performance. A collision-avoidance cost is designed and employed in the DMPC optimization problem to further guarantee the safety of AUVs. Chapter 6 presents a tube-based DMPC approach for the platoon control problem of a group of heterogeneous autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) with input constraints and disturbances. In particular, a coupled inter-vehicle safety constraint is added to the DMPC optimization problem; it ensures that neighboring ASVs maintain the safe distance and avoid inter-vehicle collision. Finally, we summarize the main results of this dissertation and discuss some potential directions for future research in Chapter 7.



Autonomous underwater vehicles, Collision avoidance, Optimization, Oceans, Robustness, Model predictive control, Distributed model predictive control, Autonomous surface vehicles, Marine robotics, Robust MPC, Multi-agent systems, Consensus, Self-triggered, Min-max MPC, Disturbances, Time-varying communication delays