Data Transmission over Networks for Estimation and Control

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Vijay Gupta, Amir F Dana, Jo ao P Hespanha, Richard M Murray, Babak Hassibi
IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 2007 (submitted)

We consider the problem of controlling a linear time invariant process when the controller is located at a location remote from where the sensor measurements are being generated. The communication from the sensor to the controller is supported by a communication network with arbitrary topology composed of analog erasure channels. Using a separation principle, we prove that the optimal LQG controller consists of an LQ optimal regulator along with an estimator that estimates the state of the process across the communication network mentioned above. We then determine the optimal information processing strategy that should be followed by each node in the network so that the estimator is able to compute the best possible estimate in the minimum mean squared error sense. The algorithm is optimal for any packet-dropping process and at every time step, even though it is recursive and hence requires a constant amount of memory, processing and transmission at every node in the network per time step. For the case when the packet drop processes are memoryless and independent across links, we analyze the stability properties and the performance of the closed loop system. The algorithm is an attempt to escape the more commonly used viewpoint of treating a network of communication links as a single end-to-end link with the probability of successful transmission determined by some measure of the reliability of the network.