Wireless Communication Tradeoffs in Distributed Control

Xiangheng Lieu, Andrea Goldsmith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

47 Scopus citations


We present a framework to study control systems with feedback loops closed over wireless communication links. We show the choice of communication parameters can greatly affect the performance of such systems. The trade-offs of data rate, time delay and packet loss in the communication link layer design are illustrated with a numerical example of an inverted pendulum. Packet loss is shown to signi£cantly degrade performance, which is not surprising since the controller design does not take into account random packet losses in the feedback loop. We thus propose an analog soft-decoding communication link design that does not incur any packet losses. It is shown that, for low channel gains, the control system closed over a soft-decoding communication link performs better than the same system closed over a hard-decoding communication link with optimal selection of sample period and data rate. This suggests fundamental changes in wireless link designs may be necessary to support robust distributed control systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)0780379241
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
Event42nd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control - Maui, HI, United States
Duration: Dec 9 2003Dec 12 2003

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)0743-1546
ISSN (Electronic)2576-2370


Other42nd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMaui, HI

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


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