Networked Control

Emerging networked control systems such as robotics, smart energy grids, sensor networks, and autonomous vehicular systems are all characterized by multiple feedback control loops that are closed over a communication channel. The communication infrastructure is shared among those feedback control loops and potentially other applications. This poses novel challenges for the communication and control system design to support such coupled systems with stringent real-time requirements.

Networked Control Systems are inherently very complex to be analyzed due to, first, their large scale, and second because of couplings between local control loops resulting from either physical interconnections or shared communication medium. To take these challenges into account, there has been a shift of paradigm from classical centralized control to distributed control. The employment of distributed control in such systems is motivated by: splitting computational load between distributed entities, decreasing the amount of communication exchange,  information privacy, robustness against single point of failure, geographical distribution of computing resources and limited computational power of existing devices. Thus, our research focuses on developing novel concepts of distributed control for networked and cyber physical systems such that the real time requirements of both control systems and the communication system are satisfied.

Related projects:

Current topics:

Optimal Information-constrained Control of Distributed Systems

Researcher: Vedad Causevic


The control systems are typically developed independently from the architecture of the underlying communication system. Also, current control systems’ design has not yet explored the possibility of in-network processing and active network components, since this is not yet a feature of today’s communication systems. In our research ''in-network control'' is a novel paradigm to be developed by pushing (parts of) the control as close to the sensors and actuators as possible, resulting in reduction of unnecessary unreliability and  time-delay within control loop.

Research questions

  • A novel framework for control partitioning on a given communication and computation infrastructure including appropriate analysis tools for performance evaluation
  • Characterization of communication infrastructures resulting in a nicely decomposable control task
  • Modeling of network infrastructure with active computational elements using graph theory


  • As we need to gain a fundamental understanding how the spatial delay and loss distribution among the links of the communication infrastructure affect the stability and other control performance , in our approach, it is assumed that a controller is partitioned into components which are implemented on the communication infrastructure, i.e. within the cloud, which is modeled by a delay and reliability graph.

Key results and achievements

  • A framework for power-constrained optimization based on information decomposition is developed
  • Algorithm for implementation of such controller within a cloud
  • Mapping of SDN (Software-defined networking) and in-network concepts to appropriate control problems

  • T. Soleymani; J. Baras; S. Hirche; K.H. Johansson: Feedback Control over Noisy Channels: Characterization of a General Equilibrium. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 2021 more… BibTeX
  • T. Soleymani; J. S. Baras; S. Hirche: Value of Information in Feedback Control: Quantification. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 2021 more… BibTeX
  • D. Xue ; S. Hirche: Finite-Time Distributed Topology Design for Optimal Network Resilience. IET CONTROL THEORY AND APPLICATIONS, 2019 more… BibTeX
  • S. Music; G. Salvietti; P. Budde gen. Dohmann; F. Chinello; D. Prattichizzo; S. Hirche: Human-Robot Team Interaction Through Wearable Haptics for Cooperative Manipulation. IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2019 more… BibTeX
  • O. Ayan; M. Vilgelm; M. Kluegel; S. Hirche; W. Kellerer: Age-of-Information vs. Value-of-Information Scheduling for Cellular Networked Control Systems. International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems, 2019 more… BibTeX
  • A. Gusrialdi; Z. Qu; S. Hirche: Distributed Link Removal Using Local Estimation of Network Topology. IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering, 2018 more… BibTeX
  • M.H. Mamduhi; S. Hirche: Try-Once-Discard Scheduling for Stochastic Networked Control Systems. International Journal of Control, 2018, 1-15 more… BibTeX
  • Li, Xianwei; Hirche, Sandra: Bounded Consensus of Linear Multi-Agent Systems with External Disturbances Through a Reduced-Order Adaptive Feedback Protocol. 37th Chinese Control Conference (CCC), IEEE, 2018 more… BibTeX
  • D. Maity; M.H. Mamduhi; S. Hirche; K.H. Johansson; J.S. Baras: Optimal LQG Control under Delay-dependent Costly Information. IEEE Control Systems Letters 3 (1), 2018, 102-107 more… BibTeX
  • Xue D.; Hirche S.: Distributed Topology Manipulation to Control Epidemic Spreading over Networks. IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing 67 (5), 2018, 1163-1174 more… BibTeX
  • T. Soleymani; S. Hirche; J. S. Baras: LQG Control via Wireless Sensor Networks with Minimal Transmission Power. Workshop on Discrete Event Systems (WODES), 2018 more… BibTeX
  • V. Causevic; P. Ugo Abara; S. Hirche: Information-constrained Optimal Control of Distributed Systems with Power Constraints. European Control Conference (ECC), 2018 more… BibTeX
  • M.H. Mamduhi; J.S. Baras; K.H. Johansson; S. Hirche: State-dependent Data Queuing in Shared-resource Networked Control Systems. 57th IEEE Annual Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), IEEE, 2018 more… BibTeX
  • T. Soleymani; S. Zoppi; M. Vilgelm; S. Hirche; W. Kellerer; J. S. Baras: Covariance-Based Transmission Power Control for Estimation over Wireless Sensor Networks. European Control Conference (ECC), 2018 more… BibTeX
  • V. Causevic; A.Falsone; D. Ioli; M. Prandini: Energy management in a multi-building setup via distributed stochastic optimization. American Control Conference (ACC), 2018, 2018 more… BibTeX
  • J. Ruth; R. Glebke; K. Wehrle; V. Causevic; S. Hirche: Towards In-Network Industrial Feedback Control. ACM SIGCOMM, 1st Workshop on In-Network Computing (NetCompute 2018), 2018 more… BibTeX
  • T. Soleymani; S. Hirche; J. S. Baras: Event-Triggered Output-Feedback H∞ Control with Minimum Directed Information. Proceedings of the Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), 2017 more… BibTeX
  • T. Soleymani; S. Hirche; J. S. Baras: Value of Information in Minimum-Rate LQG Control. In Proceedings of the International Federation of Automatic Control World Congress, 2017 more… BibTeX
  • M.H. Mamduhi; M. Vilgelm; W. Kellerer; S. Hirche: Prioritized contention resolution for random access networked control systems. Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), IEEE, 2017, 6689-6695 more… BibTeX
  • A. Molin; S. Hirche: Event-Triggered State Estimation: An Iterative Algorithm and Optimality Properties. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control 62 (11), 2017, 5939-5946 more… BibTeX
  • Z. Meng; B. D. O. Anderson; S. Hirche: On Three-dimensional Formation Control with Mismatched Coordinates. IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems 5 (3), 2017, 1492-1502 more… BibTeX
  • T. Soleymani; S. Hirche; J. S. Baras: Optimal Stationary Self-Triggered Sampling for Estimation. In Proceedings of the Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), 2016 more… BibTeX
  • T. Soleymani; S. Hirche; J. S. Baras: Optimal Information Control in Cyber-Physical Systems. IFAC Workshop on Distributed Estimation and Control in Networked Systems, 2016 more… BibTeX