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Conditions under which suboptimal nonlinear MPC is inherently robust. (English) Zbl 1226.93110
Summary: We address the inherent robustness properties of nonlinear systems controlled by suboptimal Model Predictive Control (MPC), i.e., when a suboptimal solution of the (generally nonconvex) optimization problem, rather than an element of the optimal solution set, is used for the control. The suboptimal control law is then a set-valued map, and consequently, the closed-loop system is described by a difference inclusion. Under mild assumptions on the system and cost functions, we establish nominal exponential stability of the equilibrium, and with a continuity assumption on the feasible input set, we prove robust exponential stability with respect to small, but otherwise arbitrary, additive process disturbances and state measurement/estimation errors. These results are obtained by showing that the suboptimal cost is a continuous exponential Lyapunov function for an appropriately augmented closed-loop system, written as a difference inclusion, and that recursive feasibility is implied by such (nominal) exponential cost decay. These novel robustness properties for suboptimal MPC are inherited also by optimal nonlinear MPC. We conclude the paper by showing that, in the absence of state constraints, we can replace the terminal constraint with an appropriate terminal cost, and the robustness properties are established on a set that approaches the nominal feasibility set for small disturbances. The somewhat surprising and satisfying conclusion of this study is that suboptimal MPC has the same inherent robustness properties as optimal MPC.

93D09 Robust stability
93B40 Computational methods in systems theory (MSC2010)
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