Adaptive model-based tracking control for real-time hybrid simulation

Pei Ching Chen, Chia Ming Chang, Billie F. Spencer, Keh Chyuan Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Model-based feedforward–feedback tracking control has been shown as one of the most effective methods for real-time hybrid simulation (RTHS). This approach assumes that the servo-hydraulic system is a linear time-invariant model. However, the servo-control closed-loop is intrinsically nonlinear and time-variant, particularly when one considers the nonlinear nature of typical experimental components (e.g., magnetorheological dampers). In this paper, an adaptive control scheme applying on a model-based feedforward–feedback controller is proposed to accommodate specimen nonlinearity and improve the tracking performance of the actuator, and thus, the accuracy of RTHS. This adaptive strategy is used to estimate the system parameters for the feedforward controller online during a test. The robust stability of this adaptive controller is provided by introducing Routh’s stability criteria and applying a parameter projection algorithm. The tracking performance of the proposed control scheme is analytically evaluated and experimentally investigated using a broadband displacement command, and the results indicates better tracking performance for the servo-hydraulic system can be attained. Subsequently, RTHS of a nine-story shear building controlled by a full-scale magnetorheological damper is conducted to verify the efficacy of the proposed control method. Experimental results are presented for the semi-actively controlled building subjected to two historical earthquakes. RTHS using the adaptive feedforward–feedback control scheme is demonstrated to be effective for structural performance assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1633-1653
Number of pages21
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Adaptive control
  • MR damper
  • Model-based tracking control
  • Real-time hybrid simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics


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