A nonparametric approach to design robust controllers for uncertain systems: Application to an air flow heating system

Sofiane Khadraoui, Hazem Nounou, Mohamed Nounou, Aniruddha Datta, Shankar P. Bhattacharyya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an approach to design robust fixed structure controllers for uncertain systems using a finite set of measurements in the frequency domain. In traditional control system design, usually, based on measurements, a model of the plant, which is only an approximation of the physical system, is first built, and then control approaches are used to design a controller based on the identified model. Errors associated with the identification process as well as the inevitable uncertainties associated with plant parameter variations, external disturbances, measurement noise, etc. are expected to all contribute to the degradation of the performance of such a scheme. In this paper, we propose a nonparametric method that uses frequency-domain data to directly design a robust controller, for a class of uncertainties, without the need for model identification. The proposed technique, which is based on interval analysis, allows us to take into account the plant uncertainties during the controller synthesis itself. The technique relies on computing the controller parameters for which the set of all possible frequency responses of the closed-loop system are included in the envelope of a desired frequency response. Such an inclusion problem can be solved using interval techniques. The main advantages of the proposed approach are: (1) the control design does not require any mathematical model, (2) the controller is robust with respect to plant uncertainties, and (3) the controller structure can be chosen a priori, which allows us to select low-order controllers. To illustrate the proposed method and demonstrate its efficacy, an application to an air flow heating system is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Process Control
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015



  • Frequency response template
  • Interval analysis
  • Measurement-based control
  • Robust control design
  • Uncertain system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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