Pointwise Feasibility of Gaussian Process-based Safety-Critical Control under Model Uncertainty

by   Fernando Castañeda, et al.

Control Barrier Functions (CBFs) and Control Lyapunov Functions (CLFs) are popular tools for enforcing safety and stability of a controlled system, respectively. They are commonly utilized to build constraints that can be incorporated in a min-norm quadratic program (CBF-CLF-QP) which solves for a safety-critical control input. However, since these constraints rely on a model of the system, when this model is inaccurate the guarantees of safety and stability can be easily lost. In this paper, we present a Gaussian Process (GP)-based approach to tackle the problem of model uncertainty in safety-critical controllers that use CBFs and CLFs. The considered model uncertainty is affected by both state and control input. We derive probabilistic bounds on the effects that such model uncertainty has on the dynamics of the CBF and CLF. Then, we use these bounds to build safety and stability chance constraints that can be incorporated in a min-norm convex optimization program, called GP-CBF-CLF-SOCP. As the main theoretical result of the paper, we present necessary and sufficient conditions for pointwise feasibility of the proposed optimization problem. We believe that these conditions could serve as a starting point towards understanding what are the minimal requirements on the distribution of data collected from the real system in order to guarantee safety. Finally, we validate the proposed framework with numerical simulations of an adaptive cruise controller for an automotive system.


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