7,634 research outputs found

    Nilpotent Bases for a Class of Non-Integrable Distributions with Applications to Trajectory Generation for Nonholonomic Systems

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    This paper develops a constructive method for finding a nilpotent basis for a special class of smooth nonholonomic distributions. The main tool is the use of the Goursat normal form theorem which arises in the study of exterior differential systems. The results are applied to the problem of finding a set of nilpotent input vector fields for a nonholonomic control system, which can then used to construct explicit trajectories to drive the system between any two points. A kinematic model of a rolling penny is used to illustrate this approach. The methods presented here extend previous work using "chained form" and cast that work into a coordinate-free setting

    Quantitative Performance Bounds in Biomolecular Circuits due to Temperature Uncertainty

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    Performance of biomolecular circuits is affected by changes in temperature, due to its influence on underlying reaction rate parameters. While these performance variations have been estimated using Monte Carlo simulations, how to analytically bound them is generally unclear. To address this, we apply control-theoretic representations of uncertainty to examples of different biomolecular circuits, developing a framework to represent uncertainty due to temperature. We estimate bounds on the steady-state performance of these circuits due to temperature uncertainty. Through an analysis of the linearised dynamics, we represent this uncertainty as a feedback uncertainty and bound the variation in the magnitude of the input-output transfer function, providing a estimate of the variation in frequency-domain properties. Finally, we bound the variation in the time trajectories, providing an estimate of variation in time-domain properties. These results should enable a framework for analytical characterisation of uncertainty in biomolecular circuit performance due to temperature variation and may help in estimating relative performance of different controllers

    A group-theoretic approach to formalizing bootstrapping problems

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    The bootstrapping problem consists in designing agents that learn a model of themselves and the world, and utilize it to achieve useful tasks. It is different from other learning problems as the agent starts with uninterpreted observations and commands, and with minimal prior information about the world. In this paper, we give a mathematical formalization of this aspect of the problem. We argue that the vague constraint of having "no prior information" can be recast as a precise algebraic condition on the agent: that its behavior is invariant to particular classes of nuisances on the world, which we show can be well represented by actions of groups (diffeomorphisms, permutations, linear transformations) on observations and commands. We then introduce the class of bilinear gradient dynamics sensors (BGDS) as a candidate for learning generic robotic sensorimotor cascades. We show how framing the problem as rejection of group nuisances allows a compact and modular analysis of typical preprocessing stages, such as learning the topology of the sensors. We demonstrate learning and using such models on real-world range-finder and camera data from publicly available datasets

    Real-valued average consensus over noisy quantized channels

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    This paper concerns the average consensus problem with the constraint of quantized communication between nodes. A broad class of algorithms is analyzed, in which the transmission strategy, which decides what value to communicate to the neighbours, can include various kinds of rounding, probabilistic quantization, and bounded noise. The arbitrariness of the transmission strategy is compensated by a feedback mechanism which can be interpreted as a self-inhibitory action. The result is that the average of the nodes state is not conserved across iterations, and the nodes do not converge to a consensus; however, we show that both errors can be made as small as desired. Bounds on these quantities involve the spectral properties of the graph and can be proved by employing elementary techniques of LTI systems analysis

    Frequency-Weighted Model Reduction with Applications to Structured Models

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    In this paper, a frequency-weighted extension of a recently proposed model reduction method for linear systems is presented. The method uses convex optimization and can be used both with sample data and exact models. We also obtain bounds on the frequency-weighted error. The method is combined with a rank-minimization heuristic to approximate multiinput– multi-output systems.We also present two applications— environment compensation and simplification of interconnected models — where we argue the proposed methods are useful

    Bootstrapping bilinear models of robotic sensorimotor cascades

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    We consider the bootstrapping problem, which consists in learning a model of the agent's sensors and actuators starting from zero prior information, and we take the problem of servoing as a cross-modal task to validate the learned models. We study the class of bilinear dynamics sensors, in which the derivative of the observations are a bilinear form of the control commands and the observations themselves. This class of models is simple yet general enough to represent the main phenomena of three representative robotics sensors (field sampler, camera, and range-finder), apparently very different from one another. It also allows a bootstrapping algorithm based on hebbian learning, and that leads to a simple and bioplausible control strategy. The convergence properties of learning and control are demonstrated with extensive simulations and by analytical arguments

    Limits on the Network Sensitivity Function for Multi-Agent Systems on a Graph

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    This report explores the tradeoffs and limits of performance in feedback control of interconnected multi-agent systems, focused on the network sensitivity functions. We consider the interaction topology described by a directed graph and we prove that the sensitivity transfer functions between every pair of agents, arbitrarily connected, can be derived using a version of the Mason's Direct Rule. Explicit forms for special types of graphs are presented. An analysis of the role of cycles points out that these structures influence and limit considerably the performance of the system. The more the cycles are equally distributed among the formation, the better performance the system can achieve, but they are always worse than the single agent case. We also prove the networked version of Bode's integral formula, showing that it still holds for multi-agent systems

    Hiding variables when decomposing specifications into GR(1) contracts

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    We propose a method for eliminating variables from component specifications during the decomposition of GR(1) properties into contracts. The variables that can be eliminated are identified by parameterizing the communication architecture to investigate the dependence of realizability on the availability of information. We prove that the selected variables can be hidden from other components, while still expressing the resulting specification as a game with full information with respect to the remaining variables. The values of other variables need not be known all the time, so we hide them for part of the time, thus reducing the amount of information that needs to be communicated between components. We improve on our previous results on algorithmic decomposition of GR(1) properties, and prove existence of decompositions in the full information case. We use semantic methods of computation based on binary decision diagrams. To recover the constructed specifications so that humans can read them, we implement exact symbolic minimal covering over the lattice of integer orthotopes, thus deriving minimal formulae in disjunctive normal form over integer variable intervals
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