Robust and Secure Control over the Cloud

Project: Research

Project Details


The ELLIIT-funded research project Robust and Secure Control over the Cloud runs between 2021 and 2025 and is a collaboration between the Department of Automatic Control and the Embedded Systems Laboratory at Linköping University, with one PhD student at each site. The project will develop theory and design methodology to explore the interplay between local and cloud-based control as well as the trade-offs between robustness, security, and adaptivity. The Lund team focuses on the control and autonomy aspects, while the Linköping team focuses on security and optimization. The results will be verified in real feedback control experiments over the Cloud.

The Cloud, with its virtually infinite storage and computing capacity, provides ample opportunities for applying advanced control and estimation algorithms in completely new settings. While local feedback is needed to ensure the stability of individual control applications regardless of the current status of the network, the cloud is ideal for running high-level control and optimization algorithms in large-scale networked systems. Compute-intensive algorithms such as model-predictive control (MPC), particle filtering, and reinforcement learning can exploit the massive amounts of data generated by local devices to continuously adapt to the circumstances and optimize the overall system behavior. Fast-growing market demands, the need to reduce production cost, flexible product lines, and scalability issues are all driving forces towards shifting the control applications from being implemented on dedicated hardware to pieces of software running in the Cloud.

During 2022, we investigated timing-robust control over the Cloud using online parametric optimization. The goal is to adapt a linear networked feedback to unpredictable timing complications, such as long delays, aborted computations, and dropped packets. The core concept of the approach is to log successful sampling and actuation events and then, at regular intervals, use non-convex parametric optimization to improve the expected performance of the controller under the assumption that the future timing behavior will be similar to the current one. The expected future cost is computed using our Julia toolbox JitterTime.jl. To reduce the time complexity of the optimization algorithm, automatic differentiation in Julia is applied for efficient gradient descent. The approach has been evaluated on a physical ball and beam plant, where both the controller and optimization algorithm can be located in the Cloud.
Effective start/end date2021/01/012026/06/30

Collaborative partners