A new model reference control architecture: Stability, performance, and robustness

Gerardo De La Torre, Tansel Yucelen, Eric N. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this paper, we develop a new model reference control architecture to effectively suppress system uncertainties and achieve a guaranteed transient and steady-state system performance. Unlike traditional robust control frameworks, only a parameterization of the system uncertainty given by unknown weights with known conservative bounds is needed to stabilize uncertain dynamical systems with predictable system performance. In addition, the proposed architecture's performance is not dependent on the level of conservatism of the bounds of system uncertainty. Following the same train of thought as adaptive controllers that modify a given reference system to improve system performance, the proposed method is inspired by a recently developed command governor theory that minimizes the effect of system uncertainty by augmenting the input signal of the uncertain dynamical and reference systems. Specifically, a dynamical system, called a command governor, is designed such that its output is used to modify the input of both the controlled uncertain dynamical and reference systems. It is theoretically shown that if the command governor design parameter is judiciously selected, then the controlled system approximates the given original, unmodified reference system. The proposed approach is advantageous over model reference adaptive control approaches because linearity of the uncertain dynamical system is preserved through linear control laws, and hence, the closed-loop performance is predictable for different command spectrums. Additionally, it is shown that the architecture can be modified for robustness improvements with respect to high frequency content due to, for example, measurement noise. Modifications can also be made in order to accommodate actuator dynamics and retain closed-loop stability and predictable performance. The main contribution of this paper is the rigorous analysis of the stability and performance of a system utilizing the command governor framework. A numerical example is provided to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed architecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2355-2377
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jul 25 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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