Approximate local output regulation for nonlinear distributed parameter systems

Vivek Natarajan, Joseph Bentsman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Output regulation for a class of nonlinear infinite-dimensional systems, called regular nonlinear systems (RNS), is the subject of this work. For the plants in this class, the linearization at the origin is an exponentially stable regular linear system (RLS). The plants are driven by a control input and a disturbance signal. Well-posedness of the plants for small initial states, control inputs and disturbance signals is established and it is shown that if the control input and the disturbance signal for a plant are T-periodic, then so are its state and output (asymptotically). On the basis of this characterization, an approximate local output regulator problem for multi-input multi-output (MIMO) plants in the RNS class is addressed. Given a plant, the regulation objective is to ensure that a finite number of harmonics of a T-periodic reference signal and the plant output are identical whenever the reference signal, the T-periodic disturbance signal for this plant and the initial state are small. An internal model based output feedback control scheme is proposed for an exponentially stable RLS for tracking reference signals, which are a finite sum of functions that are a product of a sinusoid and a polynomial in time. This scheme merely uses the transfer function gains of the RLS at the poles of the Laplace transform of the reference signal and practically requires no other data. Using the proposed control scheme, a linear finite-dimensional controller is designed for a MIMO nonlinear plant in the RNS class using minimal plant information. The resulting closed-loop system is rigorously analyzed to establish that the controller achieves the regulation objective. The efficacy of the control design is illustrated numerically using the model of a cable coupled to a point mass via a nonlinear spring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24
JournalMathematics of Control, Signals, and Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Approximate regulation
  • Asymptotic response
  • Internal model principle
  • Nonlinear infinite-dimensional system
  • Nonlinear output regulation
  • Regular linear system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Control and Optimization
  • Applied Mathematics


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