Keynote talks

Nonlinear control without PDEs

Professor Alessandro Astolfiaastolfi

Head of Control and Power Research Group

Professor of Non-Linear Control Theory

Imperial College, London


Several nonlinear control analysis and design problems, such as stability and stabilization problems, adaptive control problems, model reduction and observer design, optimal/robust control and game theory problems, rely upon the computation of solutions of partial differential equations (PDEs). These could be linear PDEs, such as those encountered in stability, stabilization, adaptive control and observer design; nonlinear PDES, such as the Hamilton Jacobi PDEs; or coupled PDES, such as those arising in game theory and in mean field games. In this talk we present a method to replace PDEs with algebraic equations at the expense of sacrificing performance (in a measurable way). The method is shown to be sufficiently flexible to deal with a wide range of problems and to provide solutions which are more accurate than those obtained using series expansion methods or other numerical schemes for the solutions of PDEs. Examples in the areas of engine control, multi agent systems and state estimations illustrate the theory.

Alessandro Astolfi was born in Rome, Italy, in 1967. He graduated in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rome in 1991. In 1992, he joined ETH-Zurich, where he obtained a M.Sc. in Information Theory in 1995 and the PhD degree with Medal of Honor in 1995 with a thesis on discontinuous stabilization of nonholonomic systems. In 1996 he was awarded a PhD from the University of Rome ”La Sapienza” for his work on nonlinear robust control. Since 1996 he has been with the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department of Imperial College London, London (UK), where he is currently Professor in Nonlinear Control Theory and Head of the Control and Power Group. From 1998 to 2003 he was also an Associate Professor at the Dept. of Electronics and Information of the Politecnico of Milano. Since 2005 he has also been a Professor at Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Ingegneria Informatica, University of Rome Tor Vergata. He has been a visiting lecturer in ”Nonlinear Control” in several universities, including ETH-Zurich (1995-1996); Terza University of Rome (1996); Rice University, Houston (1999); Kepler University, Linz (2000); SUPELEC, Paris (2001).

His research interests are focused on mathematical control theory and control applications, with special emphasis for the problems of discontinuous stabilization, robust and adaptive control, game theory, observer design and model reduction. He is the author of more than 120 journal papers, of 30 book chapters and of over 240 papers in refereed conference proceedings. He is the author (with D. Karagiannis and R. Ortega) of the monograph ”Nonlinear and Adaptive Control with Applications” (Springer-Verlag).

He is the recipient of the IEEE CSS A. Ruberti Young Researcher Prize (2007) and of the IEEE CSS George S. Axelby Outstanding Paper Award (2012). He is a ”Distinguished Member” of the IEEE CSS. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and of the IET and the recipient of the 2015 Sir Harold Hartley Medal, for outstanding contribution to the technology of measurement and control, from the Institute of Measurement and Control.

He is Associate Editor of Automatica, the International Journal of Control and the International Journal of Adaptive Control and Signal Processing. He is Senior Editor of the IEEE Trans. on Automatic Control and Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Control. He has also served in the IPC of various international conferences. He is currently the Chair of the IEEE CSS Conference Editorial Board.