Towards Robust Data-Driven Control Synthesis for Nonlinear Systems with Actuation Uncertainty

November, 2021


Modern nonlinear control theory seeks to endow systems with properties such as stability and safety, and has been deployed successfully across various domains. Despite this success, model uncertainty remains a significant challenge in ensuring that model-based controllers transfer to real world systems. This paper develops a data-driven approach to robust control synthesis in the presence of model uncertainty using Control Certificate Functions (CCFs), resulting in a convex optimization based controller for achieving properties like stability and safety. An important benefit of our framework is nuanced data-dependent guarantees, which in principle can yield sample-efficient data collection approaches that need not fully determine the input-to-state relationship. This work serves as a starting point for addressing important questions at the intersection of nonlinear control theory and non-parametric learning, both theoretical and in application. We validate the proposed method in simulation with an inverted pendulum in multiple experimental configurations.

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