Template-based stabilization of relative equilibria in systems with continuous symmetry

S. Ahuja, Yannis Kevrekidis, Clarence Worth Rowley

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7 Scopus citations


We present an approach to the design of feedback control laws that stabilize relative equilibria of general nonlinear systems with continuous symmetry. Using a template-based method, we factor out the dynamics associated with the symmetry variables and obtain evolution equations in a reduced frame that evolves in the symmetry direction. The relative equilibria of the original systems are fixed points of these reduced equations. Our controller design methodology is based on the linearization of the reduced equations about such fixed points. We present two different approaches of control design. The first approach assumes that the closed loop system is affine in the control and that the actuation is equivariant. We derive feedback laws for the reduced system that minimize a quadratic cost function. The second approach is more general; here the actuation need not be equivariant, but the actuators can be translated in the symmetry direction. The controller resulting from this approach leaves the dynamics associated with the symmetry variable unchanged. Both approaches are simple to implement, as they use standard tools available from linear control theory. We illustrate the approaches on three examples: a rotationally invariant planar ODE, an inverted pendulum on a cart, and the Kuramoto-Sivashinsky equation with periodic boundary conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-143
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Nonlinear Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Kuramoto-Sivashinsky equation
  • differential-algebraic equations
  • feedback control
  • geometric methods


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