Entropy and minimal bit rates for state estimation and model detection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study a notion of estimation entropy for continuous-time nonlinear systems, formulated in terms of the number of system trajectories that approximate all other trajectories up to an exponentially decaying error. We also consider an alternative definition of estimation entropy, which uses approximating functions that are not necessarily trajectories of the system, and show that the two entropy notions are equivalent. We establish an upper bound on the estimation entropy in terms of the sum of the desired convergence rate and an upper bound on the matrix measure of the Jacobian, multiplied by the system dimension. A lower bound on the estimation entropy is developed as well. We then turn our attention to state estimation and model detection with quantized and sampled state measurements. We describe an iterative procedure that uses such measurements to generate state estimates that converge to the true state at the desired exponential rate. The average bit rate utilized by this procedure matches the derived upper bound on the estimation entropy, and no other algorithm of this type can perform the same estimation task with bit rates lower than the estimation entropy. Finally, we discuss an application of the estimation procedure in determining, from the quantized state measurements, which of two competing models of a dynamical system is the true model. We show that under a mild assumption of 'exponential separation' of the candidate models, detection always happens in finite time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8186184
Pages (from-to)3330-3340
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automatic Control
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Estimation
  • nonlinear systems
  • quantized systems
  • topological entropy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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