Simple Delay-Based Implementation of Continuous-Time Controllers

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Javad Lavaei, Somayeh Sojoudi, Richard M Murray
American Control Conference (ACC)

The objective of this work is to study the benefits that delay can provide in simplifying the control process of large-scale systems, motivated by the availability of different types of delays in man-made and biological systems. We show that a continuous-time linear time-invariant (LTI) controller can be approximated by a simple controller that mainly uses delay blocks instead of integrators. More specifically, three methods are proposed to approximate a pre-designed stabilizing LTI controller arbitrarily precisely by a simple delay-based controller composed of delay blocks, a few integrators and possibly a unity feedback. Different problems associated with the developed approximation procedures, such as finding the optimal number of delay blocks or studying the robustness of the designed controller with respect to delay values, are then addressed.