Smart Actuation for End-Edge Industrial Control Systems


Along with the fourth industrial revolution, industrial automation systems are evolving into a multi-tier end-edge computing architecture. Edge controllers, which are equipped with a larger computing capacity compared to local controllers, can communicate with local plants over mainstream wireless networks such as WirelessHART, Wi-Fi, and cellular networks. Well-known challenges induced by networks, such as uncertain time delays and packet drops, have been intensively investigated from various perspectives: control synthesis, network design, or control and network co-design. The status quo is that the industry remains hesitant to close the loop between the edge controller and the actuation side due to safety concerns. This work offers an alternative perspective to address the safety concern, by exploiting the design freedom of an end-edge computing architecture. Specifically, we present a smart actuation framework, which deploys (1) an edge controller, which communicates with physical plant via wireless network, accounting for optimality, adaptation, and constraints by conducting computationally expensive operations; (2) a smart actuator, which is co-located with the physical plant on the end tier and executes a local control policy, accounting for system safety in the view of network imperfections, (3) the end-edge control co-design strategies and cooperation logic for both performance and stability. For certain classes of plants, semi-globally asymptotic stability of the resulting end-edge control systems is established when the edge controller is the model predictive control (MPC), or policy iteration-based learning control. We also provide an adaptation strategy for the end-edge control systems facing model parameter mismatches when the edge controller employs reinforcement learning. Extensive simulations demonstrate the advantages of the proposed end-edge co-design and cooperation procedures.


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  •  Ma, Y., Wang, Y., Di Cairano, S., Koike-Akino, T., Guo, J., Orlik, P.V., Lu, C., "A smart actuation architecture for wireless networked control systems", IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), DOI: 10.1109/​CDC.2018.8619831, December 2018.
    BibTeX TR2018-177 PDF
    • @inproceedings{Ma2018dec,
    • author = {Ma, Yehan and Wang, Yebin and Di Cairano, Stefano and Koike-Akino, Toshiaki and Guo, Jianlin and Orlik, Philip V. and Lu, Chenyang},
    • title = {A smart actuation architecture for wireless networked control systems},
    • booktitle = {IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC)},
    • year = 2018,
    • month = dec,
    • doi = {10.1109/CDC.2018.8619831},
    • url = {}
    • }