Main research areas

Modelling and Simulation (M. Bakošová, M. Karšaiová, A. Mészáros, J. Mikleš)

Modelling and simulation play an important role in the investigation of static and dynamic properties of chemical processes, units and systems. Most chemical systems are strongly non-linear and their simulation is necessary for the control design as well as for the investigation of the overall control systems. The main aim of the research is to develop program packages for modelling and simulation of various kinds of models. During the last year a package for PC in Simulink and C-language was created.

System Identification (Ľ. Čirka, M. Fikar, J. Mikleš)

System identification deals with problem of the parameter estimation of static or dynamic systems from observed input-output data. Among many topics of system identification, the following areas have been investigated in this project:

A program package IDTOOL has been developed for Simulink. This toolbox implements recursive LS algorithm LDDIF and provides blocks for continuous and discrete time parameter estimation.

Optimal Control Design (M. Fikar, J. Mikleš)

The main aim of this area is to develop a package of algorithms and program implementation of various known control design for a given plant. The research interests include single input-single output systems as well as multivariable dynamic systems. Control design covers strategies in discrete-time and continuous-time formulation. A program package is created in Matlab and Simulink environment.

Adaptive Controllers (M. Bakošová, Ľ. Čirka, M. Fikar, A. Mészáros, J. Mikleš)

Most of technological plants exhibit non-linear behaviour. To apply a successful control design to practical problems is a substantial effort. The processes are known to be modelled and controlled with serious difficulties caused by their non-linear behaviour, high order dynamics, and tendency to instability. Many of industrial processes must be considered as multivariable systems. In a great deal of available control design techniques it is often necessary to carry out the steps of modelling, identification and control design. Theory and implementation of adaptive control in technological systems have been the long-time research topics. The activities in the adaptive control have been concentrated to three main areas as follows:

Neural Networks and Fuzzy Control (A. Mészáros, J. Dvoran, A. Vasičkaninová)

The aim of this research is to investigate fuzzy controllers based on genetic algorithms, two-layer hierarchical control structures for biochemical systems, integrated optimising algorithms for higher layers of hierarchical control structures, artificial neural-network models obtained by back-propagation for specified biochemical systems, design of a robust long-range constrained predictive control algorithms on the basis of ANN involving a stochastic approximation training algorithm, and development of a control system for our laboratory fermenter.

Model Predictive Control (M. Fikar, M. Kvasnica)

Model Predictive control (MPC) has been successful not only in academia but in industrial process applications as well. Its main drawbacks are the stability problems. The aim of this research is to enhance the basic input-output predictive methods. The problem is solved by means of the Youla-Kučera parameterisation of all stabilising controllers. Both finite and infinite horizon formulations are handled. Another approach is to assume that the loop is already controlled by a linear controller and to find the minimum number of control, or tracking error steps that leads to stable closed-loop behaviour. In all cases, it can be shown that the minimum number of steps is closely related to the number of unstable poles/zeros of the plant. Another area of research is development of new methods for explicit model predictive control. In this approach, the optimal solution to the given MPC problem is obtained for all admissible initial conditions by employing parametric programming methods. The resulting optimal feedback law is then represented by a look-up table, which allows for real-time implementation of MPC to processes with rapid sampling.

Dynamic Optimisation (M. Fikar)

Increased quality requirements in chemical and petrochemical industries call for more complicated and sophisticated control strategies. Moreover, there is a need to know the achievable limits of performance and speed of transient behaviour of processes. Optimal control theory is able to provide responses to these questions. In this research, changeover problems in multicomponent distillation, waste-water treatment are studied.

Modelling and control of chemical reactors, biochemical reactors, distillation columns and heat exchangers (M. Bakošová, J. Dvoran, Ľ. Čirka, M. Fikar, M. Karšaiová, A. Mészáros, J. Mikleš, A. Vasičkaninová)

The research of all research groups is focused on modelling and control of various types of chemical and biochemical processes.

Control Engineering Education (M. Fikar, Ľ. Čirka, M. Bakošová)

Research in this domain focuses on application of information technologies in control education. This covers interactive on-line blocks and automatic generation of testing problems. The current research involves personification of students problems.

Information technologies (M. Fikar, Ľ. Čirka, M. Kvasnica)

Research in this domain is oriented to:

Open Source solutions are applied:: web, mail, smb servers, databases (MySQL), programming tools (PHP, JavaScript) on operating systems GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris.

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