Compositional modeling and analysis of multi-hop control networks

Rajeev Alur, Alessandro D'Innocenzo, Karl H. Johansson, George J. Pappas, Gera Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose a mathematical framework for modeling and analyzing multi-hop control networks designed for systems consisting of multiple control loops closed over a multi-hop (wireless) communication network. We separate control, topology, routing, and scheduling and propose formal syntax and semantics for the dynamics of the composed system, providing an explicit translation of multi-hop control networks to switched systems. We propose formal models for analyzing robustness of multi-hop control networks, where data is exchanged through a multi-hop communication network subject to disruptions. When communication disruptions are long, compared to the speed of the control system, we propose to model them as permanent link failures. We show that the complexity of analyzing such failures is NP-hard, and discuss a way to overcome this limitation for practical cases using compositional analysis. For typical packet transmission errors, we propose a transient error model where links fail for one time slot independently of the past and of other links. We provide sufficient conditions for almost sure stability in presence of transient link failures, and give efficient decision procedures. We deal with errors that have random time span and show that, under some conditions, the permanent failure model can be used as a reliable abstraction. Our approach is compositional, namely it addresses the problem of designing scalable scheduling and routing policies for multiple control loops closed on the same multi-hop control network. We describe how the translation of multi-hop control networks to switched systems can be automated, and use it to solve control and networking co-design challenges in some representative examples, and to propose a scheduling solution in a mineral floatation control problem that can be implemented on a time triggered communication protocols for wireless networks.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number5978186
Pages (from-to)2345-2357
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automatic Control
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2011


  • Compositional analysis
  • multi-hop sensor and actuator networks
  • networked control

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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