June 2013:
We have been invited to present our WCN work in Journal of the Indian Institute of Science!

June 2013:
Paper on mapping linear controllers to WCN presented at ACC!

January 2013:
Paper on network synthesis for dynamical system stabilization accepted for publication in IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications!

April 2012:
Best Presentation Award at IPSN'12 for paper on optimal and robust control using the WCN!

February 2012:
Invited talk at the NAMUR (International user association of automation technology in process industries) meeting dedicated to potential use of wireless in process industries!

January 2012:
Paper on extensions of the WCN accepted at ACM/IEEE IPSN!

December 2011:
Paper on topological conditions for WCN presented at IEEE CDC!

November 2011:
Invited talk on the WCN at Asilomar!

July 2011:
Paper on topological conditions for WCNs accepted at IEEE CDC!

June 2011:
WCN wins the Honeywell Users Group 2011 Wireless Student Competition!

June 2011:
WCN Paper accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control!

April 2011:
Prof. Pappas presented WCN as a part of his CPS Week plenary talk!

April 2011:
WCN demonstration at the CPS Week in Chicago

December 2010:
WCN papers on modeling and security presented at IEEE CDC

July 2010:
Two WCN papers accepted - IEEE CDC!

Project Overview:


We introduce the concept of a Wireless Control Network (WCN) where the entire network itself acts as the controller - this is opposed to traditional networked control schemes where the nodes simply route information to and from a dedicated controller (perhaps performing some encoding along the way). Specifically, we formulate a simple, linear iterative strategy for each node in the network to follow, where at each time-step each node updates its internal state to be a linear combination of the states of the nodes in its neighborhood. This causes the entire network to behave as a structured linear dynamical system, with sparsity constraints imposed by the network topology.

The WCN introduces very low computational and communication overhead to the nodes in the network and allows use of simple transmission scheduling algorithms. Since the WCN does not rely on the existence of dedicated controllers and inherently captures the case of nodes exchanging values with the plant at various points in the network it can be used for plants with multiple sensing/actuation points connected to a multi-hop network. This makes WCNs suitable as a means for control of geographically distributed plants (e.g., building control, industrial process control). Furthermore, the WCN enables compositional design, where the existing wireless infrastructure can be easily extended to handle new plants that are brought online in the vicinity of the network. Finally, the utilized linear iterative scheme allows identification of malicious behavior by examining the transmissions of only a subset of the nodes in the network (provided that the network topology satisfies certain conditions).


University of Pennsylvania
Miroslav Pajic
Prof. Rahul Mangharam
Prof. George J. Pappas

University of Waterloo
Prof. Shreyas Sundaram




WCN Demo: Process-in-the-loop simulation - Distillation colum control (uncut version)

We demonstrate how a WCN can be utilized for distillation column control, a well-known process control problem. To illustrate the use of the WCN, we have utilized process-in-the-loop simulation, where the behavior of a distillation column was simulated in Simulink. The Simulink model was interfaced with an actual, physical network - used as the control network - which consists of several wireless nodes, sensors and actuators.

Stay tuned for more details...

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