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Annual Reviews in Control 32 (2008) 87–98


Decentralized control: An overview§

Lubomı́r Bakule
Institute of Information Theory and Automation, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 182 08 Prague 8, Czech Republic
Received 8 October 2007; accepted 4 March 2008
Available online 2 May 2008

The paper reviews the past and present results in the area of decentralized control of large-scale complex systems. An emphasis is laid on
decentralization, decomposition, and robustness. These methodologies serve as effective tools to overcome specific difficulties arising in large-
scale complex systems such as high dimensionality, information structure constraints, uncertainty, and delays. Several prospective topics for future
research are introduced in this contents. The overview is focused on recent decomposition approaches in interconnected dynamic systems due to
their potential in providing the extension of decentralized control into networked control systems.
# 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Decentralized control; Large-scale systems; Decomposition; Delay; Uncertainty; Robustness

1. Introduction  Uncertainty;
The notion of large-scale systems has been introduced when it
became clear that there are real world control problems that The theory of large-scale systems is devoted to the problems
cannot be solved by using one-shot approaches. Such typical that arise from above difficulties. The theory answers the funda-
motivating problems arise in the control of interconnected power mental questions of how to break down a given control problem
systems with strong interactions, water systems which are widely into manageable subproblems which are only weakly related to
distributed in space, traffic systems with many external signal, or each other and can be solved independently. These general facts
large-space flexible structures. The reason is that the systems to lead to the opinion that no formal definition of the term large-scale
be controlled are too large and the problems to be solved are too system is necessary. Instead, a more pragmatic view has been
complex. That is, these tasks cannot be solved simply by using adopted: A system is considered large-scale if it is necessary to
faster computers with larger memory. They necessitate new ideas partition the given analysis or synthesis into manageable sub-
for dividing the analysis and synthesis of the overall system into problems. As a result, the overall plant is no longer controlled by a
independent or almost independent subproblems, for dealing single controller but by several independent controllers which all
with the incomplete information about the system, for treating together represent a decentralized controller. This is the funda-
with the uncertainties, and for dealing with delays. The mental difference between feedback control of small and large
complexity is an essential and dominating problem in systems systems usually described by the idea of information structure.
theory and practise. It leads to severe difficulties that are The basic problem is to find control inputs uðtÞ on the basis
encountered in the tasks of analyzing, designing, and imple- of the a priori knowledge of the plant S described by its model
menting appropriate control strategies and algorithms. These M for a supposed class of disturbances wðtÞ and the control goal
difficulties arise mainly from the following well-known reasons: given in the form of the design requirements DM, and the a
posteriori information about the outputs yðtÞ and the command
 Dimensionality; signals rðtÞ. The design problem is completely described by
 Information structure constraints; the information given by these four quantities. The problem
consists of two phases:
Preliminary version of this paper was presented at the 11th IFAC/IFORS/
IMACS/IFIP Conference on Large-Scale Systems: Theory and Applications,  Design phase: Determine control laws on the basis of the a
2007, Gdansk, Poland. priori information about the plant and the design requirements.
1367-5788/$ – see front matter # 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
88 L. Bakule / Annual Reviews in Control 32 (2008) 87–98

 Working phase: Determine control inputs on the basis of the a

posteriori information about the system state delivered by the
outputs and the given command signals.

Classical information structure corresponds with centralized

control as illustrates Fig. 1 (a), while non-classical information
structure of decentralized control is shown in Fig. 1(b). The
decision makers and the controllers have available only parts of
the overall a priori and a posteriori information in decentralized
control (Bakule & Lunze, 1988; Lunze, 1992).

1.1. Basic concepts

There are available two main structures of the models of

large-scale systems distinguished by the degree to which they
reflect the internal structure of the overall dynamic system.
These structures are called multi-channel systems and
interconnected systems as illustrated in Fig. 2 (b) and (c).
Multi-channel systems input and output vectors are decom- Fig. 2. System structures: (a) centralized system; (b) N-channel system; (c)
posed into subvectors, while the system is considered as one interconnected system.
whole. Interconnected systems operate with interactions
between subsystems. They are represented by signals through which subsystems interact among themselves. These signal are
internal signals of the overall system.
To cope with the aforementioned appearance of the
complexity issues several general methodologies have been
and are being elaborated. Most of them belong to one of the
following three groups (Šiljak, 1978):

 Robustness and model simplification.

Decentralization concerns the information structure inherent

in the solution of the given decision problem. The decentraliza-
tion of the control law concerns on-line information about the
state and the command. It enables a completely independent
implementation of the control stations. The decentralization of
the process refers to the model and the design goals. It supports a
way in which the control stations are found independently by
solutions of separate design process. There is a variety of
different motivating reasons for the decentralization of the design
process such as for instance weak coupling of subsystems,
subsystems have contradictory goals, subsystems are assigned to
different authorities, or the high dimensionality of the overall
system. The principal ways of decentralizing the design tasks
belong to two groups (Lunze, 1992):

 Decentralized design for strongly coupled subsystems;

 Decentralized design for weakly coupled subsystems.

The decentralized design for strongly coupled subsystems

means that at least an approximate model of all other subsystems
must be considered for the design of any subsystem under the
current design, while the coupling can be neglected during
the design of individual control stations when considering the
Fig. 1. Control design: (a) classical information structure; (b) non-classical decentralized design for weakly coupled subsystems. This
information structure. situation is illustrated in Fig. 3.
L. Bakule / Annual Reviews in Control 32 (2008) 87–98 89

by using the powerful convex optimization framework

involving linear matrix inequalities (LMIs) (Boyd, El Ghaoui,
Feron, & Balakrishnan, 1994). Parametric uncertainties are
supposed within both interconnected systems and the designed
controllers. Thus, the resulting LMIs lead to the design of
resilient decentralized controllers with additive uncertainties.
The structures of gain matrices in decentralized control
correspond with some well-known forms introduced in the
theory of sparse matrices (Tewarson, 1973). A block-diagonal
form (BD) is used when considering disjoint subsystems or
symmetric composite systems, while a block-tridiagonal form
(BTD) corresponds with overlapping subsystems. A bordered
block-diagonal form (BBD) is desirable in distributed control
and in applications with communication overhead (Zečević &
Šiljak, 2005a). The survey considers three prototype problems:
The decentralized stabilization of nonlinear disjoint subsys-
tems, H 1 control design of resilient output controllers for
Fig. 3. Decentralization of the design task for subsystem 1: (a) weak interac- overlapping subsystems, and H 2 control design of delayed
tions; (b) strong interactions. symmetric composite systems. An extension to decentralized
control design for interconnected subsystems with a commu-
nication overhead is included. References for delay free
Several decomposition approaches have been elaborated to systems and delayed systems are distinguished.
simplify the analysis and synthesis tasks for large-scale The control stations can be designed in connection with the
systems. The main goal of the decomposition is the reduction subsystem model only in weakly coupled subsystems. It means
of computational complexity. These approaches can classified that the design problems are completely independent for all
as follows: controllers. The controllers will behave similarly if the
interconnections are sufficiently weak. Conceptual insight
 Disjoint subsystems; and useful solutions of problems based on this rather primitive
 Overlapping subsystems; division of the global design problem are almost exhausted.
 Symmetric composite systems; Recently, Becerril, Aghdam, and Yurkevich (2007) have
 Multi-time scale systems; applied generalized sampling on decentralized control of
 Hierarchically structured systems. two-time scale systems and Aghdam and Davison (2007) have
proposed decentralized switching control for hierarchical
The first three items belong to strongly coupled subsystems, systems. Cantoni et al. (2007) proposed decentralized as well
while the last two items are weakly coupled subsystems as distributed control for irrigation networks modeled as a
(Bakule & Lunze, 1988; Lunze, 1992; Šiljak, 1991). hierarchical system. The use the standard sequential design,
Robustness analysis has to exploit the character of where the output from the previous pool is considered as a
uncertainties mainly on the bases of the stability analysis of known disturbance entering into the current pool under control
coupled systems, while model simplification includes mainly design. The main future trend in decentralized control should
model reduction methods and approximations (Šiljak & concern more sophisticated and advanced division approaches
Zečević, 2005). which correspond with strongly coupled systems. It motivates
Delays are much more important than the accuracy of the to restrict this survey on the classes of strongly coupled
transmitted information due to the fact that feedback control subsystems.
systems are quite robust to such inaccuracy. The presence of The origin and the rapid development of decentralized
delays is unavoidable under current technology trends of shared control design methods began since the 1970s. Various
digital networks and wireless connections. A key role plays the decentralized control design structures and algorithms have
structure and implementation issues of feedback control. been developed to present the flexibility and superiority of this
Decentralized control has the potential of being superior over approach for different classes of interconnected systems.
centralized control also in this respect, because sharing local The presentation cannot be encyclopedic due to space
information may be relatively delay free (Baillieul & Antsaklis, limitation. A large number of valuable and promising results
2007; Zhang & Xie, 2007). had to be omitted though they deserve to be included in any
overview presenting decentralized control issues. There is
1.2. Outline of the paper available a variety of monographs and survey papers including
numerous references therein (Bakule & Lunze, 1988;
The paper is focused on strongly coupled subsystems. It Bernussou & Sebe, 2002; Gajić & Ikeda, 2004; Gajić & Shen,
surveys the recent achievements in decentralized control 1993; Jamshidi, 1997; Jiang, 2003; Lunze, 1992; Šiljak, 1991,
design emphasizing nonlinearities, uncertainties, and delays 1996; Šiljak & Zečević, 1999, 2005; Tamura & Yoshikawa,
90 L. Bakule / Annual Reviews in Control 32 (2008) 87–98

1990), which offer a more wider and deeper view to the readers DAdi j ðtÞ are norm bounded uncertainties which admit the
interested in decentralized control theory and practice. standard structure:
Note only that the majority of references consider zero
DAðÞ ðtÞ ¼ DðÞ F ðÞ ðtÞEðÞ (3)
reference signals corresponding with a standard requirement on
the closed-loop system stability under uncertainties and delays. where ðÞ denotes the corresponding subindices in all DA in (1)
The decentralized servomechanism problem for nominally and (2). DðÞ and EðÞ are constant matrices corresponding with
linear interconnected systems with structured parameter the matrix DAðÞ ðtÞ. Uncertainties are lumped in unknown
perturbations solved Vaz and Davison (1989) for non-zero Lebesgue measurable functions F ðÞ satisfying the bounds.
reference signals. Global decentralized output regulation for a T
FðÞ F ðÞ  I for all t  0. I denotes a unit matrix of appropriate
class of uncertain interconnected systems with nonlinear dimension.
exosystem derived for the first time Xi and Ding (2007). The goal is to find a decentralized resilient controller-
Cantoni et al. (2007) use local non-zero reference signals observer in the form:
related to individual locally controlled pools of an open-water
channel. x̂˙ i ðtÞ ¼ Ai x̂i ðtÞ þ Bi ui ðtÞ þ ½K oi þ DK oi ½yi ðtÞ  C i x̂i ðtÞ;
ui ðtÞ ¼ ½K ci þ DK ci x̂i ðtÞ; i ¼ 1; . . . ; N
2. Disjoint subsystems
where x̂i ðtÞ is the ni -dimensional controller state of the
The actual tearing of the system may be performed from subsystem i. DK oi ¼ Doi F oi ðtÞEoi , DK ci ¼ Dci F ci ðtÞEci are
either conceptual or numerical reasons. Conceptual reasons the i th observer and controller gain perturbations.
correspond usually with the boundaries of physical subsystems. Doi ; Eoi ; Dci ; Eci are given constant matrices. F ðÞ ðtÞ are
Numerical reasons require to develop a universal decomposi- unknown arbitrarily time-varying Lebesgue measurable func-
tion technique. It leads to the notion of e decomposition when tions satisfying the relation F ðÞ ðtÞT F ðÞ ðtÞ  I. K oi ; K ci are
considering disjoint subsystems. The idea od epsilon decom- the controller-observer gain matrices to be determined for all
position can be simply explained on a linear dynamic system i ¼ 1; . . . ; N.
ẋ ¼ ðAD þ eAC Þx, where the matrix AD ¼ diagðA1 ; . . . ; AN Þ, Consider xe ¼ ½xT ; eT  , where eðtÞ ¼ xðtÞ  x̂ðtÞ denotes
the matrix AC has all its elements smaller than one, and e is a the error vector. x and x̂ are the overall system state vector and
prescribed small number. The choice of e influences on the the overall controller state vector. The overall augmented
strength of interconnections. If each subsystem Ai is stable, then systems (1)–(4) result in
an appropriate choice of e preserves the weak coupling property
x̄e ðtÞ ¼ ½Ā þ DĀxe ðtÞ þ ½Ād þ DĀd xe ðt  dÞ (5)
of the system and thereby the stability of the overall system.
The increasing threshold of e leads to the notion of nested e where
decomposition (Šiljak, 1991, 1996).    
Consider the stabilization problem for N interconnected A þ BK c BK c Ad 0
Ā ¼ ; Ād ¼ ;
subsystems with parameter uncertainties and delays with a 0 A  KoC Ad 0
given decomposition in the form: DA þ BDK c BDK c C DAd 0
DĀ ¼ ; DĀd ¼
DA DK o C DAd 0
S : ẋi ðtÞ
¼ ½Ai þ DAi ðtÞxi ðtÞ þ ½Adi þ DAdi ðtÞxi ðt  dÞ þ Bi ui ðtÞ
Note that the matrices K o and K c in (6) are block diagonal
þ si ðtÞ; matrices. The stability of the system (5)–(6) is established
by using the Lyapunov–Krasovski functional when consider-
yi ðtÞ ¼ C i xi ðtÞ; xi ðto Þ ¼ Fi ðto Þ; d  to  0; ing the Lyapunov functionals for individual subsystems.
These individual functions result in a global Lyapunov
i ¼ 1; . . . ; N
(1) Z t
where xi ðtÞ; ui ðtÞ; si ðtÞ; yi ðtÞ are ni -, mi -, pi -, r i -dimensional Vðxe ; tÞ ¼ xe ðtÞT Pe x̄m ðtÞ þ xe ðsÞT Qe xe ðsÞ ds (7)
vectors of the subsystem states, control inputs, interconnection
inputs and measured outputs, respectively. Fi ðto Þ is a given where Pe 2 R2n2n > 0 and Qe 2 R2n2n P> 0 with Pe ¼
initial function. diagðPs ; Pc Þ and Qm ¼ diagðQs ; Qc Þ, n ¼ i ni . The matrices
Interconnections are described in the form: Ps ; Pc ; Qs ; Qc have a block diagonal structure corresponding
with individual subsystems.
Taking the total time derivative of V with respect to the
si ðtÞ ¼ ½Ai j þ DAi j ðtÞx j ðtÞ þ ½Adi j þ DAdi j ðtÞx j ðt  dÞ
system (5) and (6) leads, after lengthy but straightforward
computations, to a sufficient condition given in the form the
LMIs for given Pe and Qe . Suppose there exist block diagonal
where d denotes a point time delay. Ai ; Adi ; Bi ; C i ; Ai j , and Adi j matrices Y s ; Y c ; Y h and positive scalars e1 ; . . . ; e4 such the
are constant nominal matrices. DAi ðtÞ, DAdi ðtÞ, DAi j ðtÞ, and LMIs
L. Bakule / Annual Reviews in Control 32 (2008) 87–98 91

2 3 2 3
Ws Pa Ps X s Qs Ad Wc Pc ZcT X s Qs Ad 2 3
6  Wd 2DA 2DAd 2Ad
6 Ls 0 0 0 77
6 Lc 0 0 0 77 6 
6  2e1 I 0 0 7
6  Ls 0 0 77 < 0;
6  e3 I 0 0 77 < 0;
7<0 (8)
4   2e4 I 0 5
  Qs 0 5 4    Qs 0 5
    Ss     Ss

have a feasible solution. The block matrices used in (8) mean robust control problem are solved in Chen (1989, 1992) and Chen
W s ¼ AX s þ X s AT þ BY s þYsT B, W c ¼ AX c þ X c AT þ Y c þ YcT , and Han (1993). Decentralized adaptive control provide Shi and
W d ¼ BY d þ YdT BT þ Y h þ YhT , Ls ¼ ðe1 I; e2 IÞ, P a ¼ ðDA ; Dc Þ, Singh (1992) for systems with strong nonlinear interconnections
P s ¼ ðZaT ; ZbT Þ, Lc ¼ ðe1 I; e3 IÞ, P c ¼ ðDA ; Do ; DAd Þ, Ss ¼ and Wu (2003) for uncertain interconnections. Decentralized
Qs þ e4 EAd EAd , and Sd ¼ 2Qs  e4 EAd EAd . The necessary adaptive stabilization for interconnected stochastic systems
linearization matrices used in the derivation of (8) are proposed Liu, Zhang and Jiang (2007) using the concept of input-
X s ¼ P1 1 1 T 1
s , X c ¼ Pc , Y h ¼ e2 Ps Ec Ec Ps , Z a ¼ e1 EA Ps ,
to-state stability. An another interesting and practically important
1 1
Z b ¼ e2 Ec Pc , Z c ¼ e3 Ec CPc . result is decentralized adaptive stabilization of unknown
The resulting block diagonal gain matrices stabilizing the interconnected systems with hysteresis solve using the back-
system (1)–(4) have the following form: stepping technique by Wen and Zhou (2007). Decentralized
stabilization is applied to flexible structures in Li, Kosmato-
K c ¼ Y s Xs1 ; K o ¼ Y c Xc1 CT ðCC T Þ (9) poulos, Ioannou, Ryaciotaki-Boussalis (2000) and Kobayashi,
Ikeda, and Fujisaki (2007) and to power systems Befekadu and
The above prototype design of decentralized robust Erlich (2006). Robust decentralized control independent design
resilient stabilizing controller is developed for the systems developed Kozáková and Veselý (2006), while Rosinová and
with state delays as well as norm bounded uncertainties in Veselý (2006) proposed the PID design by using LMIs.
both the system and the observer-based controller gain Extensions to descriptor systems are presented in Wang and
matrices. The motivating reasons why to include controller Bao (2000) and Chen, Gui, and Zhai (2008). New results have
uncertainties into the controller design are explained in been obtained in decentralized output feedback control by
Istepanian and Whidborne (2001) and Mahmoud (2004). The Orqueda, Zhang and Fierro (2007), Lee (2007), Xi and Ding
importance of non-fragile controllers with information (2007), and Polendo and Qian (2007). Another interesting results
structure constraints is underlined when considering large- consider Borrelli et al. (2005) for hybrid systems, while Richards
scale systems. and Chow (2007) present predictive control approach for systems
Delay free systems include a number of interesting with coupled constraints.
recent results concerning designs of decentralized control of Delayed systems with state delays consider Mukaidani,
interconnected systems with disjoint subsystems which are Tanaka and Xu (2003) by using LMIs to solve a guaranteed cost
formulated as standard convex programming problems. This control problem, while Kown and Park (2006) solve the same
approach offers a possibility to apply a variety of algorithms problem by using LMIs when considering delay in the feedback
available in the linear or bilinear matrix inequalities framework. loop. Decentralized control for dynamic routing in commu-
Various recent results of this type include uncertain and nonlinear nication network proposed PIftar and Davison (2002). Kown
systems satisfying quadratic constraints. Both structural and and Park (2006) introduce delays within the framework of
algebraic enhancements of decentralized control with state or distributed control.
static output feedback are presented in Šiljak and Stipanović
(2000a, 2001), Šiljak and Zečević (2005), and Zečević and Šiljak 3. Overlapping subsystems
(2004). An extension of these results on decentralized dynamic
output feedback control design are considered in Pagilla and The decomposition of the overall system into disjoint
Zhou (2005) and Stanković, Stipanović, and Šiljak (2007). subsystems is not effective if the subsystems are strongly
Zečević and Šiljak (2005a) introduced a BBD form for gain coupled. It means that a given system has no epsilon
matrices. It corresponds in a certain manner with an extension of decomposition. Then, overlapping decomposition can be used
traditional decentralized control towards the concept of as an alternative way in which the subsystems share some
distributed control developed for spatially interconnected common parts. The overlapping subsystems may be weakly
systems in D’Andrea and Dullerud (2003), Langbort, Chandra, coupled although disjoint subsystems are not, i.e. they may
and D’Andrea (2004), and Dullerud and Andrea (2004). Chen have an overlapping epsilon decomposition (Šiljak, 1996).
et al. (2005) developed LMI type robust H 1 control design by A systematic way of overlapping decomposition means
using a homotopy method for interconnected systems, while to expand the original system with strongly coupled subsystems
Yang and Wang (1999) present the solution in terms of Riccati into a larger dimensional systems with weakly coupled
inequalities. Strong nonlinearities in both subsystems and subsystems. There is a requirement of the relation between
interactions consider within the concept of decentralized both systems. The solution of a large-dimensional system must
output-feedback control for deterministic systems Krishna- include the solution of a lower dimensional original system. A
murthy and Khorrami (2003) and Jiang (2002). Decentralized circle of ideas, methods and algorithms devoted to overlapping
92 L. Bakule / Annual Reviews in Control 32 (2008) 87–98

decompositions has been formulated rigorously into a general LMI provides a natural framework to solve the problem for
mathematical framework called the inclusion principle (Chu & state feedback (Bakule, Rodellar, & Rossell, 2005; Liu, Jiang, Su,
Šiljak, 2005; Šiljak, 1991). To recall what this principle means, & Chu, 2002) with an extension to static output feedback
let us consider the problem of H 1 control design of resilient (Zečević & Šiljak, 2004). It is important to recognize that the
output controllers for overlapping subsystems. system but with zero blocks ðÞ21 and ðÞ22 in (12) may lead to
Suppose an uncertain system with a state point delay as unfeasible LMI solution. It means that the overlapped states have
no direct access from inputs. These two generic scenarios have
S : ẋðtÞ been classified as Type I and Type II, where Type I corresponds
¼ ½A þ DAðtÞxðtÞ þ ½B þ DBðtÞuðtÞ with non zero blocks ðÞ21 and ðÞ22 while Type II considers them
as zero blocks. A suitable approach to design BTD controllers
þ ½Ad þ DAd ðtÞxðt  dÞ þ B1 wðtÞ; (10) for both types of overlapping structures leads to expansion–
contraction relations for LTI delayless systems and contractibility
yðtÞ ¼ CxðtÞ; zðtÞ ¼ GxðtÞ þ HuðtÞ; xðto Þ ¼ FðtÞ; condition for controllers (Zečević & Šiljak, 2005b).
 d  to  0 The construction of an expanded system starts with the
where xðtÞ 2 Rn is the state, uðtÞ 2 Rm is the control input, d > 0
is the delay time, wðtÞ 2 R p is the disturbance input and belongs x̃ðtÞ ¼ VxðtÞ; xðtÞ ¼ U x̃ðtÞ (16)
to L2 ½0; þ1Þ, zðtÞ 2 Rq is the controlled output and FðtÞ is a
given continuous initial function. The matrices A, B, Ad , B1 , C,
2 3
G, D are constant matrices. DðÞ ¼ DðÞ FðtÞEðÞ are real-valued I 0 0 2 3
60 I 0 0 0
norm bounded uncertainties, where DðÞ and EðÞ are given I 07
V ¼6
7; U ¼ 4 0 :5I :5I 05 (17)
constant matrices and FðtÞ is an unknown time-varying matrix I 05
satisfying F T ðtÞFðtÞ  I. 0 0 0 I
0 0 I
Suppose a prototype case with two overlapped subsystems in
states. It means that the matrices A, DAðtÞ, Ad , DAd ðtÞ are The transformations (16) and (17) lead in a simple natural
partitioned into 3  3 blocks with the overlapping in the block way to an expanded system withTthe state vector x2 repeated in
ðÞ22 as indicate the dash lines x̃T ðtÞ= xT1 ðtÞ; xT2 ðtÞ; xT2 ðtÞ; xT3 ðtÞ . The expanded system has
the form:

(11Þ S̃ : x̃˙ ðtÞ

¼ ½Ã þ DÃðtÞx̃ðtÞ þ ½B̃ þ DB̃ðtÞuðtÞ

The matrices B, DBðtÞ, B1 , DB1 ðtÞ possess the structure of þ ½Ãd þ DÃd ðtÞx̃ðt  dÞ þ B̃1 wðtÞ; (18)
matrices partitioned into 3  2 blocks corresponding with the
ỹðtÞ ¼ C̃x̃ðtÞ; z̃ðtÞ ¼ G̃x̃ðtÞ þ HuðtÞ; x̃ðto Þ ¼ f̃ðto Þ;
overlapped states as
 d  to  0

(12Þ The systems S and S̃ are related through the corresponding

matrices as

With the system (10) we associate an inequality à ¼ VAU þ M; DÃðtÞ ¼ VDAðtÞU; B̃ ¼ VB þ N;

kzðtÞk2  gkwðtÞk2 (13) DB̃ðtÞ ¼ VDBðtÞ; Ãd ¼ VAd U þ M d ;

where g is a given constant. DÃd ðtÞ ¼ VDAd ðtÞU; B̃1 ¼ VB1 þ M 1 ; G̃ ¼ GU þ L;

The design objective it to determine a static resilient robust C̃ ¼ CU þ Lc
BTD controller for the system (10) possessing the overlapping
structure (11), (12) and satisfying H 1 -norm bound g (13). (19)
Consider the controller K in the form: where M, N, M d , M 1 and L are complementary matrices. We
uðtÞ ¼ ½K þ DKðtÞyðtÞ (14) associate the inequality with the system S̃

The gain matrix has the structure kz̃ðtÞk2  g̃kwðtÞk2 (20)

The objective is to design a decentralized resilient static

(15Þ output controller

The uncertainty matrix DK ¼ DK F K ðtÞEK has the same (21Þ

structure as K. The matrices DK ; EK are given.
L. Bakule / Annual Reviews in Control 32 (2008) 87–98 93

such that g̃ ¼ g. One possible set of conditions satisfying the and Šiljak (2003) have dealt with LTV systems. Optimization
inclusion principle has the form: issues were addressed to H 2 approaches in Ikeda et al.
(1981), Šiljak (1991), and Bakule, Rodellar, and Rossell
MV ¼ 0; M d V ¼ 0; N ¼ 0; M 1 ¼ 0; LV ¼ 0 (22) (2000a) and to H 1 approach in Bakule et al. (2005).
Recently, a variety of new results has been achieved by using
Supposing that these relation are satisfied, then the controller
the LMI approach by Šiljak and Zečević (2005), Zečević &
K̃ designed in the expanded space can be contracted into the
Šiljak (2005b) and Swarnakar, Marquez and Chen (2007).
original space as
Multi-overlapping decomposition structure consider Chen
K ¼ K̃V; DKðtÞ ¼ DK̃ðtÞV (23) and Stanković (2005). Numerous extensions of the Principle
include specialization on mechanical systems by Bakule and
The overlapping controller design is illustrated in Fig. 4. The Rodellar (1995), hybrid systems by P Iftar and Özgüner
decentralized controller design is available by using the LMI (1998), sliding mode control by Akar and Özgüner (2002),
approach in Liu et al. (2002), Bakule et al. (2005b), and Zečević and Petri nets by Aybar andP Iftar (2002). Overlapping
and Šiljak (2004). decentralized control was applied to power systems by Šiljak
Delay free systems include a large number of real world (1991), Chen and Stanković (2005, 2007) as well as to
systems which are composed of overlapping subsystems. The platoon of vehicles by Stanković, Stanojević, and Šiljak
Principle contributed by a clear conceptual insight and (2000) and Espinosa et al. (2007), and formation of aerial
effective solutions (İftar; 1993a,b; İftar & Özgüner, 1990; vehicles by Stipanović, Inalhan, Teo, and Tomlin (2004). An
Ikeda & Šiljak, 1986; Ikeda, Šiljak, & White, 1981, 1984; application to web handling systems was offered by
Šiljak, 1978, 1996). The structure of expansion–contraction Benlatreche, Knittel, and Ostertag (2005) and Sakamoto
relations including contractibility of controllers is analyzed and Kobayashi (2004), while Jung, Choi, and Seo (2000)
in Bakule, Rodellar, and Rossell (2000), Šiljak and have proposed an active suspension system for a car model.
Stipanović (2000), Stanković and Šiljak (2001), Stanković The superiority of decentralized control schemes over
et al. (2007), and Chu and Šiljak (2005) for LTI systems, centralized ones led to the concept of multiple control
while Bakule, Rodellar and Rossell (2002) and Stanković schemes when taking into account reliability issues of
controllers (Šiljak, 1991). The design of reliable controllers
is closely related to overlapping decompositions. New
applied results in reliable overlapping control are presented
in Bakule, Paulet-Crainiceanu, Rodellar, and Rossell (2005).
Delayed systems have been considered to solve the routing
problem in communication networks Ataslar andP Iftar (1999).
Bakule et al. (2005) developed a version of H 1 control for
continuous-time state delayed systems, while Bakule, Rodellar,
and Rossell (2006) present H 2 control for discrete-time state
delayed systems.

4. Symmetric composite systems

Symmetric composite systems belong to a class of

interconnected disjoint subsystems with a specific structure.
They are characterized by the identity of the subsystem
dynamics and the symmetry of the interconnections. The
symmetry gives the rise to essential simplifications of the
modeling, analysis, and synthesis. Particularly, the problem of
decentralized control design for the overall system can be
reformulated as a robust centralized control problem for a
reduced order design system. Thus, the complexity of the
design process is essentially reduced. H 2 control design of
delayed symmetric composite systems has been selected to
illustrate the main idea of this procedure.
Consider the symmetric composite system in the form:

S : ẋi ðtÞ ¼ ½A þ DAi ðtÞxi ðtÞ þ ½Adi þ DAdi ðtÞxi ðt  dÞ

þ ½B þ DBi ðtÞui ðtÞ þ si ðtÞ;
Fig. 4. Overlapping controller design: (a) overlapping subsystems; (b) yi ðtÞ ¼ ½C þ DCi xi ðtÞ; xi ðto Þ ¼ Fi ðto Þ;
expanded system; (c) decentralized controller design; (d) contracted closed-
loop system.  d  to  0; i ¼ 1; . . . ; N (24)
94 L. Bakule / Annual Reviews in Control 32 (2008) 87–98

Interconnections are considered as The systems (24) and (25) can be rewritten into the form:

N ẋðtÞ ¼ ½Ā þ DĀðtÞxðtÞ þ ½Ād þ DĀd ðtÞxðt  dÞ
si ðtÞ ¼ ½Aq þ DAi j ðtÞx j ðtÞ þ ½Adq þ DAdi j ðtÞx j ðt  dÞ
j¼1 þ ½B̄ þ DB̄ðtÞuðtÞ;
(25) yðtÞ ¼ ½C̄ þ DC̄ðtÞxðtÞ; xðto Þ ¼ Fo ðto Þ; d  to  0
where the meaning of vectors and matrices in (24) and (25) (30)
remains the same as in (1) and (2) including the norm Now, it is sufficient to present the key relation only for the
bounded character of uncertainties. Notice that the nominal matrix Ā. We get
matrices A; B; C; Aq ; Adq are identical for all subsystems.
Constant matrices DðÞ ; EðÞ correspond with the uncertainty T T ĀT ¼ diagðAs ; :::;As ; Ac Þ (31)
matrix DðÞ analogously as in (3). They are identical for all
subsystems in (1) and (2). Uncertainties are lumped in
F ðÞ ðtÞ. As ¼ A  A q ; Ac ¼ As þ NAq (32)
With the systems (24) and (25) we associate a quadratic cost:
when applying the transformation (29) on the system (30).
N N Z 1
X Analogous relations hold for the matrix Ād . It leads to two low
J¼ Ji ¼ ½xTi ðtÞQxi ðtÞ þ uTi ðtÞRui ðtÞ dt (26) order systems which describe the dynamic properties of the
i¼1 i¼1 0 original system. Thus, the original problem is reformulated as a
control problem for two simultaneous plants. The term NAq in
where Q and R are given positive definite matrices. (32) is decomposed into a nominal part Ao ¼ N=2Aq and an
The design objective is to find global decentralized resilient uncertain norm bounded part DAo ðtÞ ¼ Do F o ðtÞEo , where
dynamic controller quadratically stabilizing the system (24) Do Eo ¼ N=2Aq and F o ðtÞT F o ðtÞ  1. These manipulations
and (25) which guarantees the upper bound of the cost (26) for result in a control design model:
any admissible uncertainty. Suppose the decentralized dynamic
full order controller which is composed of N local feedback ẋr ðtÞ ¼ ½Ār þ DĀr ðtÞxr ðtÞ þ ½Ādr þ DĀdr ðtÞxr ðt  dÞ
þ ½B̄ þ DB̄ðtÞur ðtÞ; (33)
x̂˙ i ðtÞ ¼ ½Ac þ DAc ðtÞx̂i ðtÞ þ ½Bc þ DBc ðtÞyi ðtÞ; yr ðtÞ ¼ ½C̄ þ DC̄ðtÞxr ðtÞ
ui ðtÞ ¼ ½Cc þ DCc ðtÞx̂i ðtÞ; i ¼ 1; . . . ; N where
where x̂i ðtÞ is the controller state of the subsystem i. Ac ; Bc ; C c N
Ar ¼ A   1 Aq ; DAr ¼ DAðtÞ þ DAo ðtÞ (34)
are the controller matrices to be determined. These matrices are 2
identical for all subsystems.
To get a more insight into the structure of this class of with DAðtÞ ¼ DA F A ðtÞEA . Analogous relations hold for the
systems consider the transformation T of the state vector delayed terms in (33).
xðtÞ ¼ ½xT1 ðtÞ; . . . ; xTN ðtÞ
T A quadratic cost associated with the system (33) is
Z 1
x̃ðtÞ ¼ TxðtÞ (28) Jr ¼ ½xTr ðtÞQxr ðtÞ þ uTr ðtÞRur ðtÞ dt (35)

with The design objective is to determine a dynamic controller:

2 3
ðN  1ÞI I ... I I x̂˙ r ðtÞ ¼ ½Ac þ DAc ðtÞx̂r ðtÞ þ ½Bc þ DBc ðtÞyr ðtÞ;
6 I ðN  1ÞI ... I I 7 (36)
166 .. .. ..
.. 7; ur ðtÞ ¼ ½Cc þ DCc ðtÞx̂r ðtÞ
T¼ 6 . . } . . 7
N6 7
4 I I ... ðN  1ÞI I 5 which drives the system (33) optimally with a guaranteed cost
I I ... I I for any admissible uncertainty. This is a centralized control
2 3 design problem which can be solved by using the LMIs
I 0 ... 0 I (Mahmoud, 2004). A feasible solution of the problem (33)–
6 0 I ... 0 I7 (35) leads to the determination of the matrices Ac ; Bc ; C c and
6 . .. .. .. 7
T ¼6 . 6 . . } . .7 the upper bound on cost J o .
4 0 0 ... I I5 The implementation of the matrices Ac ; Bc ; Cc into the
I I . . . I I decentralized controller (27) leads to the basic result. The
(29) closed-loop system (24), (25), (27) is quadratically stable with a
L. Bakule / Annual Reviews in Control 32 (2008) 87–98 95

guaranteed upper bound cost J ¼ f ðNÞJ o , where the function 5. Decentralized networked control
f ðNÞ presents for instance (Yang & Zhang, 1995).
Delay free systems are considered in Hovd and Skogestad The current state of art as well as possible future trends in
(1994), Liu and Zhang (1999), Xiaoping (1992), Huang, Lam, technology advances in real world large scale and complex
Yang, and Zhang (1999), and Wang and Zhang (2000). systems, low cost processing, and communications lead to
Regional pole assignment by state feedback proposed Liu, Jing intensively increasing complexity of control systems. It
and Zheng (2006). Bakule and Rodellar (1996) and Yang and motivates the development of new theoretic approaches to
Zhang (1995) deal with the Ac ; Bc ; C c complexity reduced control systems. Two main changes in the control system
problem of decentralized stabilization. An extension to state- research directions are the explicit considerations of the inter-
dependent H 1 switched decentralized control design with connections and a renewed emphasis on distributed control
decentralized supervisor derived Bakule (2007). Decentralized systems which is closely related to decentralized control of
H 1 control and reliability issues developed Lam and Huang large-scale systems (Baillieul & Antsaklis, 2007).
(2007). Yan and Xie (2003) present a reduced-order control The notion of distributed control illustrates Fig. 5. Fig. 5(a)
design for a class of similar nonlinear systems. Real world shows decentralized controller in a BD form, while Fig. 5(b)
symmetric composite systems can be found in parallel systems presents a distributed controller where dashed lines correspond
such as flow splitting parallel reactors with combined with off-diagonal blocks given by communication links.
precooling Hovd and Skogestad (1994), electric power systems Recently, new methods and algorithms have been proposed to
operating in parallel Bakule and Lunze (1988) and Lunze include communication issues into the decentralized control
(1992), industrial manipulators with several degrees of freedom design framework. Such extensions concern the communication
Vukobratovic and Stokic (1982), flexible structures (Trächtler, among subsystems, local controllers, and communication in the
1991), space crystal furnace Ebert (1999), homogeneous feedback loop. Though a variety of structures and models in this
interconnected systems such as seismic cables El-Sayed and framework have been analyzed, there remains a gap between
Krishnaprasad (1981), or in various formation problems of decentralized control and control over networks. Current trends
vehicles in cyclic pursuit solved by using circulant matrices in in the use of networks for distributed control, diagnosis, and
Marshall, Broucke, and Francis (2004) and Roberts and Stilwell safety present Moyne and Tilbury (2007) with an emphasis on the
(2006). Steward, Gorinevsky, and Dumont (2003) present a network performance characteristics such as delay, delay
spatially distributed system applied to the paper machine variability, and determinism. Communication requirements for
problem. Other interesting results can be found in Hovd and decentralized control systems with noiseless digital channels and
Skogestad (1994) and Yang, Lam, and Zhang (1996). bounded system noise present Yüksel and Başar (2007) and
Delayed systems have been considered within the frame- Yüksel and Başar (2006). Two-agent optimal formation control
work of the guaranteed cost control design for state delayed problem with limited communication capacity consider Shi et al.
uncertain systems by Bakule (2005), while Bakule (2006) deals (2005). Decentralized synchronization of an uncertain time-
with the resilient stabilization by using the LMIs. varying network including several synchronization criteria are
given in Zhong, Dimirovski, and Zhao (2007). The dynamics of
local estimator-controller scheme with communication among
vehicles in cooperative formations are studied by Smith and
Hadaegh (2007). Hristu-Varsakelis (2005) surveys feedback-
based communication including a BD gain matrix for a
networked control system and the effects resulting from
unreliable communication links on the performance. Narendra,
Oleng, and Mukhopadhyay (2006) demonstrate through simula-
tion that the significant improvement in transient responses of the
disjoint subsystems can be achieved with communication at
relatively few instants of time. Roberts and Stilwell (2006) deal
with decentralized control and estimation with a circulant
communication network. Roberts and Stilwell (2005) developed
decentralized control over periodic fast switching network
applied to autonomous vehicle platoon with the network
characterized by using the graph theoretic issues. Dynamic
graphs present a new promising approach elevating the role of
interconnections on the same level as subsystems to shape the
performance of coupled systems (Šiljak, 2008). Rotkowitz and
Lall (2006) consider the problem of constructing decentralized
control minimizing a norm of the closed-loop subject to a
subspace constraint by using the concept of quadratic invariance.
Langbort, Gupta and Murray (2006) developed the LMI type
Fig. 5. Feedback structures: (a) decentralized control; (b) distributed control. condition for the existence of a decentralized controller for
96 L. Bakule / Annual Reviews in Control 32 (2008) 87–98

heterogenous interconnected subsystems with failing commu- Bakule, L., & Lunze, J. (1988). Decentralized design of feedback control for
large-scale systems. Kybernetika, 24(3–6), 1–100.
nication channels. Stubbs, Vladimerou, Fulford, Strick, and
Bakule, L., Paulet-Crainiceanu, F., Rodellar, J., & Rossell, J. M. (2005).
Dullerud (2006) describe the hovercraft flexible testbed for Overlapping reliable control for a cable-stayed bridge benchmark. IEEE
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York: North Holland. Lubomı́r Bakule received the PhD degree in Control Engineering from the
Šiljak, D. D. (1991). Decentralized control of complex systems. New York: Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1974. Since
Academic Press. 1974 he has been with the Institute of Information Theory and Automation,
Šiljak, D. D. (1996). Decentralized control and computations: Status and Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, where he is a Director of
prospects. Annual Reviews in Control, 20, 131–141. Research. He has held numerous visiting appointments abroad. He has pub-
Šiljak, D. D. (2008). Dynamic graphs. Nonlinear analysis: Hybrid systems, 2, lished over 150 research papers and has led many research projects. His research
544–567. interests are in the theory and applications of robust decentralized control of
Šiljak, D. D., & Stipanović, D. M. (Stipanović, 2000). Robust stabilization of large-scale systems, networked control systems, delayed and switching control
nonlinear systems: The LMI approach. Mathematical Problems in Engi- systems, and structural control. He is Vice-Chair of the IFAC TC on Large Scale
neering, 6, 461–493. Complex Systems.