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Distributed Control of Hybrid State Systems: Applications, Theory, and Speculation

The design and implementation of distributed controllers for hybrid systems will be discussed using two example systems. Experimental results will be reviewed for a distributed controller used to balance loads in parallel computations, in the presence of time delays and resource constraints. Results using a second approach based upon an embedding of the design problem in a convex optimization problem will be presented and compared. A problem that arose in the parallel computation application is synchronization of clocks. This problem is abstracted and explored as the distributed control of multiple inverted pendulums in the presence of time delays and bandwidth constraints. The critical features of the load balancing problem are the delayed receipt of information and transferred load. Moreover, load distribution and task processing contend for the same resources on each computational element. Some features of the controller design and implementation, such as order of operations, are difficult to capture in a mathematical model or optimization problem, and can have dramatic performance impacts. Thus, the design and implementation problem depends as much upon “engineering” as “theory” or “formalism”, providing a good case study for the interplay of these approaches in the design and implementation of a solution. Co-authors & Collaborators (in alphabetical order): C. T. Abdallah (UNM), J. Chiasson (BSU), R. DeCarlo (Purdue), M. Hayat (UNM), B. Moerdyk (Purdue), Y. Pan (UT), Z. Tang (UT), J. White (UT), M. Zefran (UI/Chicago)
Type of Seminar:
Public Seminar
Prof. J. Douglas Birdwell
Dept of Electrical and Computer Engineering a. Director, Laboratory for Information Technologies, University of Tennessee
Oct 10, 2006   17:15

ETH Zentrum, Gloriastrasse 35, Building ETZ, Room E 6
Contact Person:

Prof. J. Lygeros
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Biographical Sketch:
Dr. J. Douglas Birdwell is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering at the University of Tennessee and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T. He joined the faculty at UT in 1978, and is Director of the Laboratory for Information Technologies. He has experience in computer hardware and software applications development, high performance data base design with applications in bioinformatics, control of parallel computation and load balancing, control systems, signal processing, and artificial intelligence, including inductive inference of dynamic signal processing structures for signal classification, intelligent process supervision, CAD applications in control, automated power distribution system analysis and reconfiguration, inductive machine learning methods for modeling and real-time control, categorical approaches to manipulations of stochastic decision trees, distributed intelligent structures for real-time control, modeling of C3 systems, and real-time intelligent control of power electronic inverters for adjustable speed drives. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and has served in a number of positions in the IEEE Control Systems Society, including as President (2004), as a member of the Board of Governors (1990-2001), as Secretary-Administrator (1993-1995), as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control (1990-1992), as Program Co-chair of the 1996 Conference on Decision and Control (CDC) held in Kobe, Japan, and as the General Chair of the 1998 CDC in Tampa, FL, USA. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Sigma Xi honor societies, and is a recipient of the UT Chancellor’s Award for Research and Creative Achievement, the College of Engineering’s Moses E. & Mayme Brooks Distinguished Professor Award, the IEEE Control Systems Society’s Distinguished Member award, and the IEEE Third Millennium Medal.