Automaton-Guided Controller Synthesis for Nonlinear Systems with Temporal Logic

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Eric M. Wolff, Ufuk Topcu, and Richard M. Murray
To appear, 2013 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)

We develop a method for the control of discrete-time nonlinear systems subject to temporal logic specifications. Our approach uses a coarse abstraction of the system and an automaton representing the temporal logic specification to guide the search for a feasible trajectory. This decomposes the search for a feasible trajectory into a series of constrained reachability problems. Thus, one can create controllers for any system for which techniques exist to compute (approximate) solutions to constrained reachability problems. Representative techniques include sampling-based methods for motion planning, reachable set computations for linear systems, and graph search for finite discrete systems. Our approach avoids the expensive computation of a discrete abstraction, and its implementation is amenable to parallel computing. We demonstrate our approach with numerical experiments on temporal logic motion planning problems with high-dimensional (10+ states) continuous systems.