Alonso Marco

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  • On the Design of LQR Kernels for Efficient Controller Learning

    Finding optimal feedback controllers for nonlinear dynamic systems from data is hard. Recently, Bayesian optimization (BO) has been proposed as a powerful framework for direct controller tuning from experimental trials. For selecting the next query point and finding the global optimum, BO relies on a probabilistic description of the latent objective function, typically a Gaussian process (GP). As is shown herein, GPs with a common kernel choice can, however, lead to poor learning outcomes on standard quadratic control problems. For a first-order system, we construct two kernels that specifically leverage the structure of the well-known Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR), yet retain the flexibility of Bayesian nonparametric learning. Simulations of uncertain linear and nonlinear systems demonstrate that the LQR kernels yield superior learning performance.

    09/20/2017 ∙ by Alonso Marco, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Model-Based Policy Search for Automatic Tuning of Multivariate PID Controllers

    PID control architectures are widely used in industrial applications. Despite their low number of open parameters, tuning multiple, coupled PID controllers can become tedious in practice. In this paper, we extend PILCO, a model-based policy search framework, to automatically tune multivariate PID controllers purely based on data observed on an otherwise unknown system. The system's state is extended appropriately to frame the PID policy as a static state feedback policy. This renders PID tuning possible as the solution of a finite horizon optimal control problem without further a priori knowledge. The framework is applied to the task of balancing an inverted pendulum on a seven degree-of-freedom robotic arm, thereby demonstrating its capabilities of fast and data-efficient policy learning, even on complex real world problems.

    03/08/2017 ∙ by Andreas Doerr, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Gait learning for soft microrobots controlled by light fields

    Soft microrobots based on photoresponsive materials and controlled by light fields can generate a variety of different gaits. This inherent flexibility can be exploited to maximize their locomotion performance in a given environment and used to adapt them to changing conditions. Albeit, because of the lack of accurate locomotion models, and given the intrinsic variability among microrobots, analytical control design is not possible. Common data-driven approaches, on the other hand, require running prohibitive numbers of experiments and lead to very sample-specific results. Here we propose a probabilistic learning approach for light-controlled soft microrobots based on Bayesian Optimization (BO) and Gaussian Processes (GPs). The proposed approach results in a learning scheme that is data-efficient, enabling gait optimization with a limited experimental budget, and robust against differences among microrobot samples. These features are obtained by designing the learning scheme through the comparison of different GP priors and BO settings on a semi-synthetic data set. The developed learning scheme is validated in microrobot experiments, resulting in a 115 locomotion performance with an experimental budget of only 20 tests. These encouraging results lead the way toward self-adaptive microrobotic systems based on light-controlled soft microrobots and probabilistic learning control.

    09/10/2018 ∙ by Alexander von Rohr, et al. ∙ 0 share

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  • Data-efficient Auto-tuning with Bayesian Optimization: An Industrial Control Study

    Bayesian optimization is proposed for automatic learning of optimal controller parameters from experimental data. A probabilistic description (a Gaussian process) is used to model the unknown function from controller parameters to a user-defined cost. The probabilistic model is updated with data, which is obtained by testing a set of parameters on the physical system and evaluating the cost. In order to learn fast, the Bayesian optimization algorithm selects the next parameters to evaluate in a systematic way, for example, by maximizing information gain about the optimum. The algorithm thus iteratively finds the globally optimal parameters with only few experiments. Taking throttle valve control as a representative industrial control example, the proposed auto-tuning method is shown to outperform manual calibration: it consistently achieves better performance with a low number of experiments. The proposed auto-tuning framework is flexible and can handle different control structures and objectives.

    12/15/2018 ∙ by Matthias Neumann-Brosig, et al. ∙ 0 share

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