CS&E Seminar: W.M. Wonham - Supervisory Control of Discrete-Event Systems - October 11, 2011, at 15:00 @Aula Magna

Speaker: W.M. Wonham, Systems Control Group, ECE Department, University of Toronto, Canada
Time and Location: Tuesday, October 11, 2011, at 15:00, Aula Magna

Abstract: In this talk we trace the development of a control theory of discrete-eventsystems (DES), first proposed around 1983 and still an active area ofresearch. The general concepts underlying modern control theories -stability, optimality, controllability, and observability - had evolvedthroughout the 1940s-'60s, notably in the approaches to linear systemsynthesis pioneered by Wiener, Krasovskii, Kalman and others. Perhapssurprisingly, the adaptation of these concepts to the seemingly quitedifferent setting appropriate to DES - automata and formal languages - provedto be relatively straightforward, especially on the analogy of ideas fromgeometric linear control (like subspace ordering) that had emerged in the1960s and '70s.Until fairly recently, the application of DES control theory to problems ofrealistic industrial size has been inhibited by exponential state-spaceexplosion. We can now, however, report some success in confrontingexponentiality through effective control architecture - for instance anadaptation of state charts - combined with symbolic computing techniquesinvolving binary or integer decision diagrams. In these approaches it isoften useful to identify 'natural' system structure as the point of departure,while a continuing challenge is how to 'steer' a formal synthesis towards acommon-sense simple and comprehensible solution when the latter happens toexist. More generally, the long term goal is to identify the "laws of controlarchitecture."

Contacts: Domenico Lembo, Massimo Mecella, Giuseppe De Giacomo

Computer Science & Engineering seminar series web page: www.dis.uniroma1.it/~seminf