Improving transient performance of adaptive control architectures using frequency-limited system error dynamics

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Although adaptive control theory offers mathematical tools to achieve system performance without excessive reliance on dynamical system models, its applications to safety-critical systems can be limited due to poor transient performance and robustness. In this paper, we develop an adaptive control architecture to achieve stabilisation and command following of uncertain dynamical systems with improved transient performance. Our framework consists of a new reference system and an adaptive controller. The proposed reference system captures a desired closed-loop dynamical system behaviour modified by a mismatch term representing the high-frequency content between the uncertain dynamical system and this reference system, i.e., the system error. In particular, this mismatch term allows the frequency content of the system error dynamics to be limited, which is used to drive the adaptive controller. It is shown that this key feature of our framework yields fast adaptation without incurring high-frequency oscillations in the transient performance. We further show the effects of design parameters on the system performance, analyse closeness of the uncertain dynamical system to the unmodified (ideal) reference system, discuss robustness of the proposed approach with respect to time-varying uncertainties and disturbances, and make connections to gradient minimisation and classical control theory. A numerical example is provided to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed architecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2383-2397
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Control
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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