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Seminar of

M. Luigi Palopoli

10 December 2014

When multimedia meets control: Design of control systems using soft real-time techniques

The increasing presence of high level control functionalities in many industrial systems
requires substantial hardware sharing to keep in check costs and complexity.
In addition, many of the sensors these functionalities are built upon require a significant and highly
variable computation time. This is the case of visual sensors, RADARS and LIDARS, for which the computation
time highly depends on the complexity of the scene.
Classic approaches for hardware sharing in control systems are based on the combination of the hard real--time scheduling
theory, which allows us to execute computations and deliver results with fixed rate and delays, and digital control, which
offers techniques to adapt control design to a specified rate and compensate for a known delays.
Highly variable computation times pose real challenges to the outright application of these ideas. Indeed, the designer finds herself/himself
in a quandary over whether to use worst case evaluation for the computation time with a substantial impact on
hardware sharing or to use "average" values, which determines occasional deadline misses and undermines the
assumption of constant delays.
In this talk we will show how a combination of appropriate models of computation and of soft real--time scheduling solutions
allows us to to define new avenues to control design. The net result is the ability to design a system with guaranteed control
performance in the face of time varying delays and of deadline misses, with important effects on the ability to share
computation resources.


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