Realistic case studies of wireless structural control

Bo Li, Zhuoxiong Sun, Kirill Mechitov, Gregory Hackmann, Chenyang Lu, Shirley J. Dyke, Gul Agha, Billie F. Spencer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Wireless Structural Control (WSC) systems can play a crucial role in protecting civil infrastructure in the event of earthquakes and other natural disasters. Such systems represent an exemplary class of cyber-physical systems that perform close-loop control using wireless sensor networks. Existing WSC research usually employs wireless sensors installed on small lab structures, which cannot capture realistic delays and data loss in wireless sensor networks deployed on large civil structures. The lack of realistic tools that capture both the cyber (wireless) and physical (structural) aspects of WSC systems has been a hurdle for cyber-physical systems research for civil infrastructure. This advances the state of the art through the following contributions. First, we developed the Wireless Cyber-Physical Simulator (WCPS), an integrated environment that combines realistic simulations of both wireless sensor networks and structures. WCPS integrates Simulink and TOSSIM, a state-of-the-art sensor network simulator featuring a realistic wireless model seeded by signal traces. Second, we performed two realistic case studies each combining a structural model with wireless traces collected from real-world environments. The building study combines a benchmark building model and wireless traces collected from a multi-story building. The bridge study combines the structural model of the Cape Girardeau bridge over the Mississippi River and wireless traces collected from a similar bridge (the Jindo Bridge) in South Korea. These case studies shed light on the challenges of WSC and the limitations of a traditional structural control approach under realistic wireless conditions. Finally, we proposed a cyber-physical co-design approach to WSC that integrates a novel holistic scheduling scheme (for sensing, communication and control) and an Optimal Time Delay Controller (OTDC) that substantially improves structural control performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ACM/IEEE 4th International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems, ICCPS 2013
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2013
Event4th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems, ICCPS 2013 - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: Apr 8 2013Apr 11 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM/IEEE 4th International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems, ICCPS 2013


Other4th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems, ICCPS 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia, PA


  • Cyber-physical system
  • Wireless cyber-physical simulator
  • Wireless sensor network
  • Wireless structural control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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