Novel methods that improve feedback performance of model predictive control with model mismatch

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2009-05

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Abstract

Model predictive control (MPC) has gained great acceptance in the industry since it was developed and first applied about 25 years ago [1]. It has established its place mainly in the advanced control community. Traditionally, MPC configurations are developed and commissioned by control experts. MPC implementations have usually been only worthwhile to apply on processes that promise large profit increase in return for the large cost of implementation. Thus the scale of MPC applications in terms of number of inputs and outputs has usually been large. This is the main reason why MPC has not made its way into low-level loop control. In recent years, academia and control system vendors have made efforts to broaden the range of MPC applications. Single loop MPC and multiple PID strategy replacements for processes that are difficult to control with PID controllers have become available and easier to implement. Such processes include deadtime-dominant processes, override strategies, decoupling networks, and more. MPC controllers generally have more "knobs" that can be adjusted to gain optimum performance than PID. To solve this problem, general PID replacement MPC controllers have been suggested. Such controllers include forward modeling controller (FMC)[2], constraint LQ control[3] and adaptive controllers like ADCO[4]. These controllers are meant to combine the benefits of predictive control performance and the convenience of only few (more or less intuitive) tuning parameters. However, up until today, MPC controllers generally have only succeeded in industrial environments where PID control was performing poorly or was too difficult to implement or maintain. Many papers and field reports [5] from control experts show that PID control still performs better for a significant number of processes. This is on top of the fact that PID controllers are cheaper and faster to deploy than MPC controllers. Consequently, MPC controllers have actually replaced only a small fraction of PID controllers. This research shows that deficiencies in the feedback control capabilities of MPC controllers are one reason for the performance gap between PID and MPC. By adopting knowledge from PID and other proven feedback control algorithms, such as statistical process control (SPC) and Fuzzy logic, this research aims to find algorithms that demonstrate better feedback control performance than methods commonly used today in model predictive controllers. Initially, the research focused on single input single output (SISO) processes. It is important to ensure that the new feedback control strategy is implemented in a way that does not degrade the control functionality that makes MPC superior to PID in multiple input multiple output (MIMO) processes.

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