Data-driven control in marine systems
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAnnual Reviews in Control. 2018, 46 343-349. 10.1016/j.arcontrol.2018.10.006
With the advent of cheap smart sensors installed on board marine vehicles and the increasing computational power of small embedded processors there is tremendous potential for the implementation of new strategies to control marine systems on the basis of input-output plant data. The emerging field of smart sensors affords a unique opportunity to have access to on-line measurement of dynamical systems’ variables seamlessly, at a low price. By applying a data-driven control algorithm to a marine vehicle, the paper introduces a new perspective on how data can be used in the control loop in marine systems. Classical control methodologies start by developing a model of the plant to be controlled, after which a number of control design techniques can be used. Recent advances in so-called model-free data-driven control methodologies, in particular unfalsified control, hold promise to merge the identification and control phases. Unfalsified control techniques build on the construction of a bank of controllers for a given plant, in which there exists at least one controller that meets the desired performance specification and a falsification unit. The latter is implemented using a cost function that directly evaluates the performance of the controllers (in and out of the feedback loop) using measured input and output data. At each sampling time, the performance of the controllers is assessed and the controllers that do not meet the pre-defined performance specification criteria will be falsified and removed from the bank of the controllers, after which an active controller will be selected among the unfalsified ones. In this paper, by presenting the results of the application of unfalsified control to the problem of Dynamic Positioning (DP) of marine vessels subjected to environmental forces, we aim to attract the attention of researchers in the field of marine control to the new perspective of using data to directly control marine system.