Optimal Control of Hybrid Systems with Regional Dynamics

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Schöllig, Angela
Egerstedt, Magnus B.
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In this work, hybrid systems with regional dynamics are considered. These are systems where transitions between different dynamical regimes occur as the continuous state of the system reaches given switching surfaces. In particular, the attention is focused on the optimal control problem associated with such systems. More precisely, given a specific cost function, the goal is to determine the optimal path of going from a given starting point to a fixed final state during an a priori specified time horizon. The key characteristic of the approach presented in this thesis is a hierarchical decomposition of the hybrid optimal control problem, yielding to a framework which allows a solution on different levels of control. On the highest level of abstraction, the regional structure of the state space is taken into account and a discrete representation of the connections between the different regions provides global accessibility relations between regions. These are used on a lower level of control to formulate the main theorem of this work, namely, the Hybrid Bellman Equation for multimodal systems, which, in fact, provides a characterization of global optimality, given an upper bound on the number of transitions along a hybrid trajectory. Not surprisingly, the optimal solution is hybrid in nature, in that it depends on not only the continuous control signals, but also on discrete decisions as to what domains the system's continuous state should go through in the first place. The main benefit with the proposed approach lies in the fact that a hierarchical Dynamic Programming algorithm can be used to representing both a theoretical characterization of the hybrid solution's structural composition and, from a more application-driven point of view, a numerically implementable calculation rule yielding to globally optimal solutions in a regional dynamics framework. The operation of the recursive algorithm is highlighted by the consideration of numerous examples, among them, a heterogeneous multi-agent problem.
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