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.

%B European Control Conference %P 54-61 %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control %D 2006 %T Hybrid Modelling and Control of the Common Rail Injection System %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %A E. Mazzi %A A. Sangiovanni Vincentelli %A G. Serra %E J. Hespanha %E A. Tiwari %K Embedded Control %K Robotics %XWe 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.

%B Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control %S Lecture Notes in Computer Science %I Springer-Verlag %V 3927 / 2006 %P 79-92 %G eng %0 Journal Article %J International Journal of Control %D 2005 %T Path-Following with a Bounded-Curvature Vehicle: a Hybrid Control Approach %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %A P. Souères %K Embedded Control %K Robotics %XIn 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.

%B International Journal of Control %V 78 %P 1228-1247 %8 October %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Decision and Control %D 2005 %T Randomized Algorithms for Platform–based Design %A A. Agostini %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %A B. Piccoli %A Sangiovanni Vincentelli, A. %A K. Zadarnowska %K Embedded Control %K Robotics %XThe 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.

%B Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Decision and Control %P 6638 - 6643 %G eng %0 Journal Article %J International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control %D 2003 %T Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Robust Perfect Tracking under Variable Structure Control %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %K Embedded Control %K Robotics %XThe 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.

%B International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control %V 13 %P 141-151 %8 02/2003 %G eng %N 2 %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Decision and Control %D 2003 %T Stabilization of a class of discrete-time hybrid automata %A M. Zoncu %A A. Balluchi %A A. Sangiovanni Vincentelli %A A. Bicchi %K Embedded Control %K Robotics %XIn 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.

%B Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Decision and Control %P 1147-1152 %G eng %0 Book Section %B Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control %D 2001 %T Hybrid Feedback Control for Path Tracking by a Bounded-Curvature Vehicle %A A. Balluchi %A P. Souères %A A. Bicchi %E Di Benedetto, M. D. %E A. L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli %K Autonomous Vehicles %K Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems %K Nonlinear Control Systems %B Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control %S Lecture Notes in Computer Science %I Springer-Verlag %C Heidelberg, Germany %V 2034 %P 133-146 %G eng %0 Journal Article %J Int. Journal of Control %D 2001 %T Optimal feedback control for line tracking with a bounded-curvature vehicle %A P. Souères %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %K Autonomous Vehicles %K Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems %K Nonlinear Control Systems %B Int. Journal of Control %V 74 %P 1009-1019 %8 July %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. 39th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control %D 2000 %T Hybrid Tracking Control for Spark-Ignition Engines %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %A C. Caterini %A C. Rossi %A A. L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli %K Automotive %K Autonomous Vehicles %K Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems %B Proc. 39th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control %C Sydney, NSW, Australia %V 4 %P 3126-31 %8 December %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation %D 2000 %T Optimal Feedback Control for Route Tracking with a Bounded-Curvature Vehicle %A P. Souères %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %K Robotics %B Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation %C San Francisco, CA, USA %P 2473-2478 %8 April %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. 39th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control %D 2000 %T Stability and Robustness of Optimal Synthesis for Route Tracking by Dubins' Vehicles %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %A B. Piccoli %A P. Souères %K Autonomous Vehicles %K Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems %K Nonlinear Control Systems %B Proc. 39th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control %C Sydney, Australia %V 1 %P 581-6 %8 December %G eng %0 Journal Article %J International Journal of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science %D 1999 %T Decentralized Variable Structure Tracking for Systems with Time-Domain Dominance %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %K Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems %K Nonlinear Control Systems %B International Journal of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science %V 9 %P 265-291 %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. IFAC International Workshop on Motion Control %D 1998 %T Hybrid Optimization Problems in Automotive Applications %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %A G. Padroni %A C. Rossi %A A. L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli %K Automotive %K Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems %B Proc. IFAC International Workshop on Motion Control %C Grenoble, France %P 273-278 %8 September %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation %D 1997 %T Introducing the Sphericle: an experimental testbed for research and teaching in nonholonomy %A A. Bicchi %A A. Balluchi %A D Prattichizzo %A A. Gorelli %K Autonomous Vehicles %K Nonlinear Control Systems %B Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. European Control Conference %D 1997 %T Necessary and Sufficient Dominance Conditions for Robust Decentralization of VS Tracking Control %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %K Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems %K Nonlinear Control Systems %B Proc. European Control Conference %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation %D 1996 %T Path Tracking Control for Dubin's Cars %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %A A. Balestrino %A G. Casalino %K Autonomous Vehicles %K Embedded Control %K Nonlinear Control Systems %B Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. IFAC World Congress %D 1996 %T Reflex Control of Locomotion for a Four-Legged Vehicle with Leg Redundancy %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %A G. Casalino %A D Prattichizzo %K Autonomous Vehicles %K Legged Vehicles %B Proc. IFAC World Congress %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. European Control Conference %D 1995 %T Quasi-Block Diagonal Dominance Condition for Robust Decentralized Tracking Control %A A. Balluchi %A A. Bicchi %A A. Balestrino %K Embedded Control %K Nonlinear Control Systems %B Proc. European Control Conference %C Rome %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. Conf. on Decision and Control %D 1994 %T A Diagonal Dominance Condition for Robust Decentralized Variable Structure Control %A A. Bicchi %A A. Balluchi %A A. Balestrino %K Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems %K Nonlinear Control Systems %B Proc. Conf. on Decision and Control %P 2324-2329 %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. Int. Workshop on Variable Structure and Lyapunov Techniques %D 1994 %T Time-Domain Dominance Condition for Decentralized Variable Structure Control of Systems in Input-Output Form %A A. Bicchi %A A. Balluchi %A A. Balestrino %K Autonomous Vehicles %K Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems %K Nonlinear Control Systems %B Proc. Int. Workshop on Variable Structure and Lyapunov Techniques %C Benevento %G eng %0 Conference Paper %B Proc. Conference on Decision and Control %D 1993 %T Efficient Parallel Algorithm for Optimal Block Decomposition of Transfer Function Matrices for Decentralized Control of Large-Scale Systems %A A. Balluchi %A A. Balestrino %A A. Bicchi %K Hybrid and Embedded Control Systems %K Nonlinear Control Systems %B Proc. Conference on Decision and Control %G eng