We present an industrial case study in automotive control of significant complexity: the new common-rail fuel- injection system for Diesel engines developed by Magneti Marelli Powertrain. In this system, an inlet metering valve, inserted before the High Pressure (HP) pump, regulates the fuel flow that supplies the common rail according to the engine operating point (e.g. engine speed and torque). The standard approach to controller design adopted in the automotive in- dustry is based on mean-value models of the plant. However, the fuel injection system exhibits complex discrete-continuous interactions, due to the slow time-varying frequency of the HP pump cycles and the fast sampling frequency of sensing and actuation. Hence, a hybrid approach to controller design is very promising. In this paper, we present the synthesis of a hybrid multi-rate controller for a Magneti Marelli Powertrain common-rail fuel- injection system for four-cylinder multi-jet engines. Controller design is based on a hybrid model of the injection system. The resulting hybrid controller performs significantly better then previous controllers developed in the company on the basis of mean-value models of the plant.

JF - European Control Conference ER - TY - CONF T1 - Hybrid Modelling and Control of the Common Rail Injection System T2 - Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control Y1 - 2006 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi A1 - E. Mazzi A1 - A. Sangiovanni Vincentelli A1 - G. Serra ED - J. Hespanha ED - A. Tiwari KW - Embedded Control KW - Robotics AB -We present an industrial case study in automotive control of significant complexity: the new common rail fuel injection system for Diesel engines, currently under production by Magneti Marelli Powertrain. In this system, a flow-rate valve, introduced before the High Pressure (HP) pump, regulates the fuel flow that supplies the common rail according to the engine operating point. The standard approach followed in automotive control is to use a mean-value model for the plant and to develop a controller based on this model. In this particular case, this approach does not provide a satisfactory solution as the discrete-continuous interactions in the fuel injection system, due to the slow time-varying frequency of the HP pump cycles and the fast sampling frequency of sensing and actuation, play a fundamental role. We present a design approach based on a hybrid model of the Magneti Marelli Powertrain common-rail fuel-injection system for four-cylinder multi-jet engines and a hybrid approach to the design of a rail pressure controller. The hybrid controller is compared with a classical mean-value based approach to automotive control design whereby the quality of the hybrid solution is demonstrated.

JF - Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control T3 - Lecture Notes in Computer Science PB - Springer-Verlag VL - 3927 / 2006 ER - TY - JOUR T1 - Path-Following with a Bounded-Curvature Vehicle: a Hybrid Control Approach JF - International Journal of Control Y1 - 2005 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi A1 - P. Souères KW - Embedded Control KW - Robotics AB -In this paper, we consider the problem of stabilizing the kinematic model of a car to a path in the plane under rather general conditions. The path is subject to very mild restrictions, while the car model, although rather simplified, contains the most relevant limitations inherent in wheeled robots kinematics. Namely, the car can only move forward, its steering radius is lower bounded and a limited sensory information only provides a partial knowledge of some state parameters. In particular, we consider the case that the current distance and the heading angle error with respect to the closest point on the reference path can be measured but only the sign of the path curvature is detected. These constraints are such to make classical control techniques inefficient. As the feedback information is both continuous and discrete, the hybrid systems formalism turns out to be well appropriate to model the problem. The proposed approach is based on optimal control techniques successfully applied in a previous work for following rectilinear path. We propose here an extension to the tracking of more general paths with moderate curvature. The stability of the closed-loop system is proved by means of the hybrid system formalism and hybrid formal verification techniques. Finally, the practicality of the proposed approach, in spite of non–idealities in real-world applications, is discussed by reporting experimental results.

VL - 78 ER - TY - CONF T1 - Randomized Algorithms for Platform–based Design T2 - Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Decision and Control Y1 - 2005 A1 - A. Agostini A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi A1 - B. Piccoli A1 - Sangiovanni Vincentelli, A. A1 - K. Zadarnowska KW - Embedded Control KW - Robotics AB -The design of automotive control systems is becoming increasingly complex as the level of performance required by car manufactures grows continuously and the constraints on cost and development time imposed by the market become tighter. A successful design, without costly and time consuming re-design cycles, can be achieved only by using an efficient design methodology that allows for component re-use and evaluation of platform requirements at the early stages of the design flow. In this paper, we illustrate a control-implementation design methodology for the development of embedded controllers by composition of algorithms picked up from libraries. Randomized algorithms and hybrid system theory are used to develop techniques for functional and architecture evaluations, which are implemented in a prototype tool.

JF - Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Decision and Control ER - TY - JOUR T1 - Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Robust Perfect Tracking under Variable Structure Control JF - International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control Y1 - 2003 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi KW - Embedded Control KW - Robotics AB -The tracking control of linear MIMO systems with structured uncertainty is considered. A necessary and sufficient condition for robust asymptotic tracking employing variable structure techniques in the presence of multiplicative uncertainty is derived. The constructive proof of the theorem provides an explicit formula for controller synthesis.

VL - 13 IS - 2 ER - TY - CONF T1 - Stabilization of a class of discrete-time hybrid automata T2 - Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Decision and Control Y1 - 2003 A1 - M. Zoncu A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Sangiovanni Vincentelli A1 - A. Bicchi KW - Embedded Control KW - Robotics AB -In this paper, the problem of stabilizing linear discrete time hybrid automata is considered. A synthesis methodology is obtained by extending to hybrid systems the stabilization techniques based on stable convex combinations, originally developed for switching systems. An algorithm to explore the candidate stabilizing controller actions is proposed and an application to an automotive engine control problem is described.

JF - Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Decision and Control ER - TY - CHAP T1 - Hybrid Feedback Control for Path Tracking by a Bounded-Curvature Vehicle T2 - Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control Y1 - 2001 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - P. Souères A1 - A. Bicchi ED - Di Benedetto, M. D. ED - A. L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli KW - Autonomous Vehicles KW - Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems KW - Nonlinear Control Systems JF - Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control T3 - Lecture Notes in Computer Science PB - Springer-Verlag CY - Heidelberg, Germany VL - 2034 ER - TY - JOUR T1 - Optimal feedback control for line tracking with a bounded-curvature vehicle JF - Int. Journal of Control Y1 - 2001 A1 - P. Souères A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi KW - Autonomous Vehicles KW - Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems KW - Nonlinear Control Systems VL - 74 ER - TY - CONF T1 - Hybrid Tracking Control for Spark-Ignition Engines T2 - Proc. 39th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control Y1 - 2000 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi A1 - C. Caterini A1 - C. Rossi A1 - A. L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli KW - Automotive KW - Autonomous Vehicles KW - Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems JF - Proc. 39th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control CY - Sydney, NSW, Australia VL - 4 ER - TY - CONF T1 - Optimal Feedback Control for Route Tracking with a Bounded-Curvature Vehicle T2 - Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation Y1 - 2000 A1 - P. Souères A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi KW - Robotics JF - Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation CY - San Francisco, CA, USA ER - TY - CONF T1 - Stability and Robustness of Optimal Synthesis for Route Tracking by Dubins' Vehicles T2 - Proc. 39th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control Y1 - 2000 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi A1 - B. Piccoli A1 - P. Souères KW - Autonomous Vehicles KW - Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems KW - Nonlinear Control Systems JF - Proc. 39th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control CY - Sydney, Australia VL - 1 N1 -(invited paper)

ER - TY - JOUR T1 - Decentralized Variable Structure Tracking for Systems with Time-Domain Dominance JF - International Journal of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science Y1 - 1999 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi KW - Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems KW - Nonlinear Control Systems VL - 9 ER - TY - CONF T1 - Hybrid Optimization Problems in Automotive Applications T2 - Proc. IFAC International Workshop on Motion Control Y1 - 1998 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi A1 - G. Padroni A1 - C. Rossi A1 - A. L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli KW - Automotive KW - Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems JF - Proc. IFAC International Workshop on Motion Control CY - Grenoble, France N1 - (invited paper) ER - TY - CONF T1 - Introducing the Sphericle: an experimental testbed for research and teaching in nonholonomy T2 - Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation Y1 - 1997 A1 - A. Bicchi A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - D Prattichizzo A1 - A. Gorelli KW - Autonomous Vehicles KW - Nonlinear Control Systems JF - Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation ER - TY - CONF T1 - Necessary and Sufficient Dominance Conditions for Robust Decentralization of VS Tracking Control T2 - Proc. European Control Conference Y1 - 1997 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi KW - Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems KW - Nonlinear Control Systems JF - Proc. European Control Conference ER - TY - CONF T1 - Path Tracking Control for Dubin's Cars T2 - Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation Y1 - 1996 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi A1 - A. Balestrino A1 - G. Casalino KW - Autonomous Vehicles KW - Embedded Control KW - Nonlinear Control Systems JF - Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation ER - TY - CONF T1 - Reflex Control of Locomotion for a Four-Legged Vehicle with Leg Redundancy T2 - Proc. IFAC World Congress Y1 - 1996 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi A1 - G. Casalino A1 - D Prattichizzo KW - Autonomous Vehicles KW - Legged Vehicles JF - Proc. IFAC World Congress ER - TY - CONF T1 - Quasi-Block Diagonal Dominance Condition for Robust Decentralized Tracking Control T2 - Proc. European Control Conference Y1 - 1995 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Bicchi A1 - A. Balestrino KW - Embedded Control KW - Nonlinear Control Systems JF - Proc. European Control Conference CY - Rome ER - TY - CONF T1 - A Diagonal Dominance Condition for Robust Decentralized Variable Structure Control T2 - Proc. Conf. on Decision and Control Y1 - 1994 A1 - A. Bicchi A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Balestrino KW - Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems KW - Nonlinear Control Systems JF - Proc. Conf. on Decision and Control ER - TY - CONF T1 - Time-Domain Dominance Condition for Decentralized Variable Structure Control of Systems in Input-Output Form T2 - Proc. Int. Workshop on Variable Structure and Lyapunov Techniques Y1 - 1994 A1 - A. Bicchi A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Balestrino KW - Autonomous Vehicles KW - Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems KW - Nonlinear Control Systems JF - Proc. Int. Workshop on Variable Structure and Lyapunov Techniques CY - Benevento ER - TY - CONF T1 - Efficient Parallel Algorithm for Optimal Block Decomposition of Transfer Function Matrices for Decentralized Control of Large-Scale Systems T2 - Proc. Conference on Decision and Control Y1 - 1993 A1 - A. Balluchi A1 - A. Balestrino A1 - A. Bicchi KW - Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems KW - Nonlinear Control Systems JF - Proc. Conference on Decision and Control ER -