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Coordinated-distributed optimal control of large-scale linear dynamic systems Open Access


Other title
distributed control
hierarchical control
large-scale optimization
optimal control
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Marcos, Natalia I.
Supervisor and department
Dr. J. Fraser Forbes (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Dr. Martin Guay (Chemical Engineering, Queen's University)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Sirish L. Shah (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Dr. William R. Cluett (Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto)
Dr. Sergiy A. Vorobyov (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Since the late 1970s, the design of chemical processes has evolved towards highly integrated operations that can increase plant efficiency. Although plant-wide integration offers substantial opportunities to improve the performance of an entire plant, it often results in large-scale systems that are challenging to control. Distributed control has attracted increasing attention in recent years and is seen as a promising new strategy for control of large-scale systems. This thesis focuses on a class of distributed control schemes, which is referred to as 'coordinated-distributed' control. The coordinated-distributed control schemes proposed in this work use a coordinator that exchanges information with local controllers. This exchange of information allows the coordinator to iteratively adjust (coordinate) the optimal control problem for each of the local subsystems to drive their solutions toward the plant-wide optimal performance operations. In this work, coordinated-distributed control schemes are formulated for dynamic linear systems that can be locally controlled by linear quadratic controllers or model predictive controllers. Two distinct methods are used for coordination of the local controllers: the prediction-driven coordination method and the price-driven coordination method. A common characteristic in both coordination methods is the computation of a price vector. The price vector is updated iteratively by the coordinator to achieve the desired plant-wide optimal performance. The coordinated-distributed control schemes proposed in this work assume the same execution rate for the local controllers. An extension for coordination of local controllers that are executed at different rates is also presented. Different strategies for dual-rate coordination are discussed and the one that can provide the most performance improvement is analyzed in detail. The coordinated-distributed control strategies proposed in this thesis have significant potential for improving the performance of current industrial process control systems. The proposed coordinated-distributed control schemes do not require a radical new configuration of the decentralized controllers. They can be constructed with minor modifications to the existing decentralized control systems.
License granted by Natalia Marcos ( on 2011-10-28T19:25:20Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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