Abstract

Observability and controllability are essential concepts to the design of predictive observer models and feedback controllers of networked systems. For example, noncontrollable mathematical models of real systems have subspaces that influence model behavior, but cannot be controlled by an input. Such subspaces can be difficult to determine in complex nonlinear networks. Since almost all of the present theory was developed for linear networks without symmetries, here we present a numerical and group representational framework, to quantify the observability and controllability of nonlinear networks with explicit symmetries that shows the connection between symmetries and nonlinear measures of observability and controllability. We numerically observe and theoretically predict that not all symmetries have the same effect on network observation and control. Our analysis shows that the presence of symmetry in a network may decrease observability and controllability, although networks containing only rotational symmetries remain controllable and observable. These results alter our view of the nature of observability and controllability in complex networks, change our understanding of structural controllability, and affect the design of mathematical models to observe and control such networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011005
JournalPhysical Review X
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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controllability
symmetry
mathematical models
network control
controllers

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

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title = "Observability and controllability of nonlinear networks: The role of symmetry",
abstract = "Observability and controllability are essential concepts to the design of predictive observer models and feedback controllers of networked systems. For example, noncontrollable mathematical models of real systems have subspaces that influence model behavior, but cannot be controlled by an input. Such subspaces can be difficult to determine in complex nonlinear networks. Since almost all of the present theory was developed for linear networks without symmetries, here we present a numerical and group representational framework, to quantify the observability and controllability of nonlinear networks with explicit symmetries that shows the connection between symmetries and nonlinear measures of observability and controllability. We numerically observe and theoretically predict that not all symmetries have the same effect on network observation and control. Our analysis shows that the presence of symmetry in a network may decrease observability and controllability, although networks containing only rotational symmetries remain controllable and observable. These results alter our view of the nature of observability and controllability in complex networks, change our understanding of structural controllability, and affect the design of mathematical models to observe and control such networks.",
author = "Whalen, {Andrew J.} and Brennan, {Sean N.} and Sauer, {Timothy D.} and Schiff, {Steven J.}",
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Observability and controllability of nonlinear networks : The role of symmetry. / Whalen, Andrew J.; Brennan, Sean N.; Sauer, Timothy D.; Schiff, Steven J.

In: Physical Review X, Vol. 5, No. 1, 011005, 01.01.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Observability and controllability of nonlinear networks

T2 - The role of symmetry

AU - Whalen, Andrew J.

AU - Brennan, Sean N.

AU - Sauer, Timothy D.

AU - Schiff, Steven J.

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N2 - Observability and controllability are essential concepts to the design of predictive observer models and feedback controllers of networked systems. For example, noncontrollable mathematical models of real systems have subspaces that influence model behavior, but cannot be controlled by an input. Such subspaces can be difficult to determine in complex nonlinear networks. Since almost all of the present theory was developed for linear networks without symmetries, here we present a numerical and group representational framework, to quantify the observability and controllability of nonlinear networks with explicit symmetries that shows the connection between symmetries and nonlinear measures of observability and controllability. We numerically observe and theoretically predict that not all symmetries have the same effect on network observation and control. Our analysis shows that the presence of symmetry in a network may decrease observability and controllability, although networks containing only rotational symmetries remain controllable and observable. These results alter our view of the nature of observability and controllability in complex networks, change our understanding of structural controllability, and affect the design of mathematical models to observe and control such networks.

AB - Observability and controllability are essential concepts to the design of predictive observer models and feedback controllers of networked systems. For example, noncontrollable mathematical models of real systems have subspaces that influence model behavior, but cannot be controlled by an input. Such subspaces can be difficult to determine in complex nonlinear networks. Since almost all of the present theory was developed for linear networks without symmetries, here we present a numerical and group representational framework, to quantify the observability and controllability of nonlinear networks with explicit symmetries that shows the connection between symmetries and nonlinear measures of observability and controllability. We numerically observe and theoretically predict that not all symmetries have the same effect on network observation and control. Our analysis shows that the presence of symmetry in a network may decrease observability and controllability, although networks containing only rotational symmetries remain controllable and observable. These results alter our view of the nature of observability and controllability in complex networks, change our understanding of structural controllability, and affect the design of mathematical models to observe and control such networks.

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