Dissertation Defense

Correct-by-construction fault-tolerant control

Liren Yang
3316 EECSMap


Correct-by-construction control synthesis methods refer to a collection of model-based techniques to algorithmically generate controllers/strategies that make the systems satisfy some formal specifications. Such techniques attract much attention as they provide formal guarantees on the correctness of cyber-physical systems, where corner cases may arise due to the interaction among different modules. The controllers synthesized through such methods, however, may still malfunction due to faults, such as physical component failures and unexpected operating conditions, which lead to a sudden change of the system model. In these cases, we want to guarantee that the performance of the faulty system degrades gracefully, and hence achieve fault tolerance.

This thesis is about 1) incorporating fault detection and detectability analysis algorithms in correct-by-construction control synthesis, 2) formalizing the graceful degradation specification for fault tolerant systems with temporal logic, and 3) developing algorithms to synthesize correct-by-construction controllers that achieve such graceful degradation, with possible delay in the fault detection. In particular, two sets of approaches from the temporal logic planning domain, i.e., abstraction-based synthesis and optimization-based path planning, are considered. Structural properties in the system dynamics and formal specifications are explored and exploited to achieve more scalable synthesis algorithms. Finally, the control synthesis techniques developed for discrete state systems is shown to be applicable to continuous states systems. This is demonstrated by fuel cell thermal management application.

Chair: Professor Necmiye Ozay