17 research outputs found

    Adaptive Output Regulation For Multivariable Nonlinear Systems Via Hybrid Identification Techniques

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    Output regulation refers to the class of control problems in which some outputs of the controlled system must be steered to some desired references, while maintaining closed-loop stability and in spite of the presence of unmeasured disturbances and model uncertainties. While for linear systems the problem has been elegantly solved in the 70s, output regulation for nonlinear systems is still a challenging research field, and 30 years of active research left open many fundamental problems. In particular, all the regulators proposed so far are limited to very specific classes of nonlinear systems and, even in those cases, they fail in extending in their full generality the celebrated properties of the linear regulator. The aim of this thesis is to make a decisive step towards the systematic extension of the output regulation theory to embrace more general multivariable problems. To this end, we touch here three fundamental pillars of regulation theory: the structure of regulators, the robustness issue, and the adaptation of the control system. Regarding the structural aspects, we pursue here a design paradigm that is complementary to canonical nonlinear regulators and that trades a conceptually more suitable structure with a strong internal intertwining between the different parts of the regulator. For what concerns robustness, we introduce a new framework to characterize robustness of regulators relative to steady-state properties more general than the usual requirement asking a zero asymptotic error. We characterize in this unifying terms a large part of the existing approaches, and we end conjecturing that general nonlinear regulation admits no robust solution. Regarding the evolution of regulators, we propose an adaptive regulation framework in which adaptation is used online to tune the internal models embedded in the control system. Adaptation is cast as a general system identification problem, allowing for different well-known algorithms to be used

    Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition)

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    In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. For example, a key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process versus those that measure fl ux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process including the amount and rate of cargo sequestered and degraded). In particular, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation must be differentiated from stimuli that increase autophagic activity, defi ned as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (inmost higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium ) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the fi eld understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. It is worth emphasizing here that lysosomal digestion is a stage of autophagy and evaluating its competence is a crucial part of the evaluation of autophagic flux, or complete autophagy. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. Along these lines, because of the potential for pleiotropic effects due to blocking autophagy through genetic manipulation it is imperative to delete or knock down more than one autophagy-related gene. In addition, some individual Atg proteins, or groups of proteins, are involved in other cellular pathways so not all Atg proteins can be used as a specific marker for an autophagic process. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field

    The Chicken-Egg Dilemma and the Robustness Issue in Nonlinear Output Regulation with a Look Towards Adaptation and Universal Approximators

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    In this paper we review the problem of output regulation for nonlinear systems. We discuss how the robustness properties and the simple structure of the linear regulator are linear artefacts which do not extend in more general nonlinear cases. We talk about the intertwining that is necessarily present between the internal model and the stabilising parts of a nonlinear regulator, in which the role of the exosystem mixes up with those of the residual plant's dynamics. We discuss a general guideline to deal with such structural challenges, by looking at adaptation and universal approximators as a promising way to provide systematic design procedures for approximate regulators in a general nonlinear setting

    Robust internal model design by nonlinear regression via low-power high-gain observers

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    In this paper we introduce the low-power high-gain observer, developed in [1], to solve problems of output regulation for nonlinear systems. We show how the new tool makes it possible the implementation of high dimensional controllers, that tipically arise when the ideal steady-state control that must be generated to secure zero regulation error is affected by uncertainties