Jorge Cortés


Gramian-based reachability metrics for bilinear networks
Y. Zhao, J. Cortés
IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems 4 (3) (2017), 620-631


This paper studies Gramian-based reachability metrics for bilinear control systems. In the context of complex networks, bilinear systems capture scenarios where an actuator not only can affect the state of a node but also interconnections among nodes. Under the assumption that the input's infinity norm is bounded by some function of the network dynamic matrices, we derive a Gramian-based lower bound on the minimum input energy required to steer the state from the origin to any reachable target state. This result motivates our study of various objects associated to the reachability Gramian to quantify the ease of controllability of the bilinear network: the minimum eigenvalue (worst-case minimum input energy to reach a state), the trace (average minimum input energy to reach a state), and its determinant (volume of the ellipsoid containing the reachable states using control inputs with no more than unit energy). We establish an increasing returns property of the reachability Gramian as a function of the actuators, which in turn allows us to derive a general lower bound on the reachability metrics in terms of the aggregate contribution of the individual actuators. We conclude by examining the effect on the worst-case minimum input energy of the addition of bilinear inputs to difficult-to-control linear symmetric networks. We show that the bilinear networks resulting from the addition of either inputs at a finite number of interconnections or at all self loops with weight vanishing with the network scale remain difficult-to-control. Various examples illustrate our results.

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