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Control of Complex Systems Initiative


CCSI worked to establish advanced controls capabilities for large-scale, complex infrastructures, particularly the power grid, buildings and buildings-grid integration. CCSI employed a unique integrated systems approach with three focus areas: Theory, Tools, and Test Bed.

  • Theory: Delivered the key theoretical underpinnings of control methodologies and designs for large-scale distributed systems. Project Information
  • Tools: Provided design, validation, simulation, and deployment tools for future distributed control theory, methods, and systems. Project Information
  • Test Bed: Developed and supported the test bed facilities required for experimentation, development, testing, and demonstration of distributed control systems for large-scale distributed complex engineered systems, with a focus on the electrical energy system and buildings. Project Information

Theory Focus Area

Projects Objective Status Principal Investigator
Project 1.1: Distributed Control of Large-Scale Complex Systems Extends existing distributed control theory to systematically incorporate complex dynamics such as non-linear phenomena and physical constraints that are inherent to large-scale complex systems; developing distributed optimal control theory that can guarantee the global control objective as well as local objectives of different entities by endowing them with learning capability through negotiation with their peers Completed, September 2016 J. Lian
Project 1.2: Decision Theory for Incentive Compatible Mechanism Design Demonstrates that incentive-compatible mechanisms are capable of controlling large complex systems comprising autonomous strategic agents; investigates multi-agent learning in the context of these mechanisms, and characterizing the emergent outcomes of the agents and the system. Completed, September 2016 A. Somani
Project 1.3: Impacts of Communication Network on Distributed Control Advances network and information theory for designing distributed optimization and control, taking into account physical properties of practical systems such as channel noise, time delay, packet drops, and quantization of physical measurements and time; develops a methodology for distributed optimal control of larger-scale networked systems in which nodes can coordinate their decisions with neighboring nodes. Completed, September 2016 D. Wu
Project 1.4: Aggregate Load Modeling and Control for Power Grid Regulation Services Extends aggregate load models in the frequency domain to support the analysis and design of distributed and decentralized control approaches spanning wide spatial and temporal scales, and enables comprehensive studies of market-based solutions to demand response. Completed, September 2016 D. Chassin
Collaborator: N. Djilali, University of Victoria
Project 1.5: Resilience in Large-Scale Distributed Control Systems Establishes theoretical foundations to study resilience of distributed control systems. Completed, September 2017 W. Zhang
Project 1.7: Control Framework for Large-Scale Complex Systems Contributes the theoretical framework elements needed to support the overall CCSI framework; develops and documents mathematical methods and proofs arising from various projects in the Theory Focus Area. Completed, September 2018 E. Yeung
Project 1.8: Concurrent Design and Control of Complex Systems: Controllability, Observability and Performance Metrics Contributes theoretical analysis and computationally tractable methods for assessment of controllability and observability, and system design (e.g., sensor and actuator placement) to enhance controllability and observability metrics; investigates methods for concurrent evaluation of resource planning decisions (i.e., system design) and operation for large-scale infrastructures with dynamic performance and economic objectives. Completed, September 2018 A. Visweswara Sathanur
Project 1.9 Learning Control for Building Systems Develops a framework and methodology for integrating control theory and machine learning techniques, leveraging the advantages of both research paradigms to enable building systems to learn from experience and autonomously make multi-objective decisions in a dynamic operation context. Completed, September 2018 D. Arendt
Project 1.10: Scalable Verification Methodologies for Complex Infrastructure Networks Develops a computationally scalable methodology for the verification of controllers developed for complex systems, using ideas from constraint programming, graph theory and SMT solvers, and catalogs the appropriate use cases for applications in infrastructure networks. Completed, September 2017 K. Dvijotham

Tools Focus Area

Projects Objective Status Principal Investigator
Project 2.1: High-level Modeling Specification for Simulation of Control Systems Addresses designing and prototyping a model development environment for simulation of control systems that help control system developers create a clean separation of model from implementation technology. Completed, September 2016 T. Edgar
Project 2.3: Verification and Validation of Distributed Control System Simulation and Runtime Implements a verification and validation platform for agent-based simulators use for modeling complex engineered systems to compare the intended behavior of the control system with the actual execution of the simulators. Completed, September 2014 J. Fuller
Project 2.4: Visual Analytics Platform for Large-Scale Hierarchical Control System Data Researches and developing new visualization tools and a visual analytics framework to support the interpretation and analysis of large-scale hierarchical control system data with specific features including intuitive visual representations, zoomable interfaces, multi-scale layout and navigation, and interactive data exploration. Completed, September 2017 G. Chin
Project 2.5: Co-Simulation Platform for Rapid Prototyping of Control Algorithms Advances the state-of-the-art in co-simulation environments, focusing on the needs to support developing control algorithms for complex systems across diverse simulator software packages and hardware. Completed, September 2017 J. Daily
Project 2.6: Scalable Hierarchical Validation and Calibration for Robust Distributed Control of Large-Scale Complex Systems under Uncertainty Develops and implements carefully designed validation and uncertainty quantification methods and a toolkit specific to the CCSI control tools and models as defined within the analytic development of the Theory Focus Area. Completed, September 2017 D. Engel
Project 2.7: Measurement and Verification in Controlled Complex Systems Develops sensitive, accurate, and scalable measurement and verification techniques for complex distributed control systems. Completed, September 2017 J. Follum
Project 2.8: Integrated Control Testing Under Complexity Moves all of the capabilities of CCSI to higher technology readiness levels and understand, and potentially improve, their abilities under highly complex scenarios. Completed, September 2017 J. Hansen

Test Bed Focus Area

Projects Objective Status Principal Investigator
Project 3.2: Agent-Based Test Bed for Complex Building Control Systems Develops a test environment that supports exploration and validation of distributed control approaches for building systems and building-grid integration that can be deployed in PNNL buildings and across the campus. Completed, September 2016 W. Wang
Project 3.3: Integration and Demonstration of Scalable Power System Simulation for CCSI Test Bed Integrates and demonstrates a robust, scalable, real-time—as well as non-real-time—capable power system simulator to provide the test bed with the capability to study impacts of new control solutions on the performance of the bulk grid. Concluded March 2016 M. Vallem
Project 3.4: Experiment Management for Control of Complex Systems Test Bed The Experiment Management System (XMS), created through this project, supports researchers in using the CCSI test bed by providing a number of resources, such as support for experimental design, setup and configuration. Completed, September 2017 M. Rice
Project 3.5: Integration and Demonstration of Co-Simulation Platform in the CCSI Test Bed Integrates and demonstrates a robust co-simulation platform for the test bed; project used a co-simulation platform from the Tools focus area that coordinates simulations of power systems, communications networks, buildings and their systems, and markets with the XMS. Concluded September 2015 Williams
Project 3.6: Test Bed Federation Tools for Control of Complex Systems Research Develops tools to enable federation among individual test beds that are geographically dispersed at the facilities of multiple participating organizations. Completed, September 2018 D. Manz
Project 3.7: Hardware Integration Platform for the CCSI Test Bed Supports development of enhancements to the coordination platform for physical test bed devices, VOLTTRON™. Completed, September 2017 J. Haack
Project 3.8: Campus as a Laboratory Provides the expertise in supporting defining, configuring, and executing experiments leveraging the tools and test bed capabilities developed by projects in the first three years of the Initiative. Completed, September 2018 P. Ehrlich

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