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vehicle’s non-linear hybrid suspension system

Mechanical Engineering Department, National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Abstract: In the following, a design method is presented for non-linear hybrid suspension systems of

vehicles based on neural networks. A hybrid suspension system is one that behaves as an active

suspension system only when the road excitation amplitude is above a prescribed value.

Discontinuous operation of the controller helps to minimize the energy consumed by the actuator.

The design targets of our method are the minimization of the vertical acceleration imposed on the

passengers as well as the respect of all the design and construction constraints. The neural network

used is obtained by a Taylor approximation of the unknown non-linear control function. Because

of the existence of numerous local minima of the neural network, an evolutionary algorithm is used

to solve the resulting neural network problem.

Keywords: vehicles’ suspension, vehicles’ hybrid suspension, neural networks, semistochastic optimi-

zation

beyond the performance of a passive linear and some-

c coe cient of the damper times non-linear (progressive spring) suspension

f force applied by the actuator of the suspension system. Thus, it is generally expected that the control

system of the actuator is non-linear and intelligent (e.g. ¯exible).

fc control law of the hybrid suspension system (to be Passive suspension systems, either linear or non-linear,

de®ned) face serious di culties in performing satisfactorily in the

k coe cient of the suspension spring environment of use of modern cars. The performanc e of

k2 coe cient of the spring modelling the tyre active suspension systems is signi®cantly better, but these

m1 sprung mass systems present the disadvantag e that they increase the

m2 unsprung mass energy consumption, because the consumption of the

Tact time constant of the actuator hydraulic pump moving the actuator is not negligible.

w…t† road disturbance (vertical displacement imposed A promising solution for the future is the use of hybrid

on the tyre by road irregularities) suspension systems that behave as active only when the

wji weighted interconnections of the neural network road excitation amplitude is above a prescribed value.

(synaptic weights) The control of the actuator in active or hybrid suspen-

z relative displacement of the unsprung mass with sion systems is usually non-linear and intelligent (e.g.

respect to the sprung mass ˆ x1 ¡ x2 ¯exible). The synthesis of suitable controllers has been

investigated in the past by a number of researchers

All other symbols used are de®ned in the text.

using non-linear control, as well as fuzzy neural

approaches. The most recent papers have been listed in

1 INTRODUCTION references [1] to [8]. A survey of recent developments in

this area and related optimal control applications has

been presented in reference [1].

The basic idea of an active hybrid suspension system is to

In the following a new methodological approach to the

use an actuator (e.g. a hydraulic cylinder) to increase the

design of vehicles’ hybrid suspension systems is pre-

The MS was received on 7 Januar y 2002 and was accepted for publica- sented using neural networks [9]. The approach proposes

tion on 25 February 2002. a general type of neural network non-linear controller

*Correspondin g author: Mechanical Engineering Department, National

Technical University of Athens, Polytechnioupolis , Building B, 15780 based on a Taylor series approximation, trained by a

Athens, Greece. semistochastic optimization algorithm.

SC00102 IMechE 2002 Proc Instn Mech Engrs Vol 216 Part B: J Engineering Manufacture

834 K N SPENTZAS AND S A KANARACHOS

is considered:

8

< 1 ¡ cos…8 t†

A for t 0:25 s

wˆ 2 …2†

:

0 for t > 0:25 s

Fig. 1 Quarter-car model minimization of the vertical acceleration applied to the

passengers will be sought. For construction reasons,

the relative displacement of the unsprung mass with

2 MATHEMATICAL MODEL

respect to the sprung mass must be restricted to an

acceptable value. Consequently, the following constraint

The mathematical model used is the (well-known) will be introduced:

quarter-car model with hybrid (passive±active) suspen-

sion system shown in Fig. 1. jzj ˆ jx1 ¡ x2 j z· ˆ 8 cm …3†

The equations of motion taking into account the Firstly, solving the unconstrained problem (jzj not con-

dynamics of the actuator (the control law to be de®ned) strained) for Tact ˆ 0, immediately the following is

are the following: obtained:

m2 x 2 ¡ c…x_ 1 ¡ x_ 2 † ¡ k…x1 ¡ x2 † ‡ k2 …x2 ¡ w† ˆ ¡f This means that the resulting spring coe cient kres and

damping coe cient cres of the hybrid (passive ‡ active)

Tact f_ ‡ f ˆ fc

system become zero, while the value of x2 is obtained

…1†

as follows:

³ ´

2 2 k2 2

4 ROAD DISTURBANCE x 2,unc ‡ « x2,unc ˆ « w ˆ « , w ˆ constant

m2

A sudden disturbance from the road due to a bump [1] ) x2,unc ˆ w‰1 ¡ cos…«t†Š …5†

described by the following equation (plotted in Fig. 2)

Equations (4) and (5) indicate now clearly that a control

law that can cope with the constraint (3) must be non-

linear.

Neural networks oVer a general powerful tool for

designing a non-linear law. The basic arti®cial neuron

can be modelled as a multiple-input non-linear device

(zi ) with weighted interconnections wji (also called

synaptic weights) while the output uj is described by

the equation

³X

N ´

uj ˆ Á wji zi ‡ ³j …6†

iˆ1

while ³j is the external threshold, also called an oVset

or bias. The strength of the neural network formulation

lies in the general structure of the control law and in the

introduction of synaptic weights. On the other hand, the

Fig. 2 Typical road bumps generality of the formulation imposes the necessity to

Proc Instn Mech Engrs Vol 216 Part B: J Engineering Manufacture SC00102 IMechE 2002

A NEURAL NETWORK APPROACH TO THE DESIGN OF A SUSPENSION SYSTEM 835

de®ne an appropriate structure for the controller. For criterion is the convergence of the complex to one

this, the (unknown) non-linear law is expanded in a vector.

Taylor series: If F …wR † < F wb †, an expansion step takes place

(E ˆ constant):

fc ² uj …z, z†

_

wE ˆ w

· ‡ E…w

· ¡ ww † …11†

ˆ Á…w1 z ‡ w2 z_ ‡ w3 z2 ‡ w4 zz_ ‡ w5 z_2

· ‡ C…ww ¡ w†

· …12†

in applying neural networks in control problems and is

mathematicall y accurate and expandable. In the case of In the expansion step, a new vector is calculated in the

a quadratic approximation , the neural network is opposite direction from ww considering the centroid as

described by N ˆ 9 synaptic weights w1 to w9 , to be the origin of the space. In the contraction step a new

determined by an appropriate procedure. vector is evaluated in direction of ww . The procedure

Training of neural networks is equivalent to determin- converges towards a local or global minimum 0 wmin

ing an e cient learning algorithm to adjust the weights depending on the initial vector and the properties of

that achieve the minimization of the speci®c objective the complex (density factor k and standard deviation

function. Because of the numerous suboptima associated ¼). The procedure can be repeated considering 0 wmin as

with non-linear control laws, a semistochastic parameter the new initial vector of a new complex, leading now to

optimization procedure for determining the optimum a new 1 wmin , etc., until con®dence about the result of

weight vector and an objective function utilizing penalty the optimization procedure is gained. A basic advantage

approach is used as the quantitative evaluator of the of the semistochastic complex method is that it combines

system performance. semistochastic build-up of the kN ‡ 1 complex and

According to the semistochastic complex method, a deterministic search.

polyhedron created, forming a regular complex and The general problem of minimizing f …w† subject to

composed of i ˆ 1, . . . , kN, kN ‡ 1 vectors wi : the constraints gj …w† 0 ( j ˆ 1, . . . , ng ) and hi …w† ˆ 0

(i ˆ 1, . . . , ne ) can be formulated as an unconstrained

wi ² fw1 w2 w3 w4 w5 w6 w7 w8 w9 gi minimization problem of the following complex function

…8† F …w†:

X

are computed using a Gauss distribution with a pre- F …w† ˆ f …w† ‡ ¶Gj G…fgj …w†g‡ †

selected standard variation ¼. The kN ‡ 1 vector is jˆ1

X

vector. The method begins by evaluating the objective ‡ ¶Hi H…jhi …w†j†

function F …wi † for each of the vectors of the initial iˆ1

complex: ww is the vector corresponding to the highest ˆ minimum …13†

value of the objective function, F …ww † (called the worst

w) and wb is the vector corresponding to the lowest In the above expression, G is a function of the gj …w†‡ ,

value of the objective function, F …wb † (called the best with the subscript ‡ denoting that only the positive

w). Then, excluding ww , a centroid vector w· is de®ned values of gj …w† are considered [the negative values of

as follows: gj …w† are taken as zero; gj …w†¡ ˆ 0], H is a function of

hi …w†, while ¶Gj and ¶Hi are positive penalty weights.

1 XkN

w

·ˆ w …i 6ˆ w† …9†

kN i ˆ 1 i

7 NUMERICAL APPLICATION

and compute a re¯ection vector wR in the opposite direc-

tion from ww considering the centroid [equation (9)] as The data used for the numerical application are m1 ˆ

the origin of the space (R ˆ constant): 289 kg, m2 ˆ 59 kg, k1 ˆ 10 000 N/m, k2 ˆ 190 000 N/m

wR ˆ w

· ‡ R…w

· ¡ ww † …10† and c1 ˆ 500 N s/m. It is assumed that the passive

system is already designed to ful®l satisfactorily the

If F …wR † > F …wb † and F …wR † < F …wi † for i ˆ 1, . . . , ride quality requirements for bump amplitude

kN ‡ 1 and i 6ˆ w, then the worst vector ww is substituted 0 A Amean . Therefore, the neural network controller

by the re¯ection vector wR . A new centroid is then has to cope essentially with bump amplitudes in the

created and the procedure continues until the range Amean A Amax ; therefore its operation will be

termination criterion is ful®lled. A typical termination discontinuous.

SC00102 IMechE 2002 Proc Instn Mech Engrs Vol 216 Part B: J Engineering Manufacture

836 K N SPENTZAS AND S A KANARACHOS

Fig. 3 Time responses for the case of discontinuous operation of the controller, with road disturbance

maximum amplitude Amax ˆ 11 cm and time constant of the actuator, Tact ˆ 0 s

The structure of the neural network controller is tion with R ˆ 1:3, E ˆ 2 and C ˆ 0:5, leads to the

following values for Á and the synaptic weights:

fc ² uj …z, z†

_

wT ˆ f¡4:26 £ 10 4 4:28 £ 10 3 ¡34:78

ˆ Á…w3 z2 ‡ w4 zz_ ‡ w5 z_ 2 ‡ w6 z3 ‡ w7 z2 z_

¡4:02 £ 106 ¡1:05 £ 105 ¡7:21 £ 103

‡ w8 zz_2 ‡ w9 z_3 † …14†

¡211:72g, ¢t ˆ 0:05 s

It does not contain any linear feedbacks.

On the other hand, in order to ensure discontinuous Figure 3 shows the time traces for y, x 1 and f for the

operation, the Á function has to be activated. An appro- case where Tact ˆ 0 and for the bump maximum ampli-

tude Amax ˆ 11 cm. The controller is not activated for

priate Á function in equation (14) can be either a sigmoid

A < Amean ˆ 5 cm, while for Amax ˆ 11 cm the maximum

or a hard-type non-linearity:

passenger acceleration does not exceed x 1, max ˆ 12:2 m/s2

» and the maximum actuator forces and the power con-

0 for z ‡ ¢tz_ 0:08 m

Áˆ …15† sumption are kept small ( fmax ˆ 2438 N).

1 for z ‡ ¢tz_ > 0:08 m

Corresponding computations are performed also for

where ¢t is the prediction time. non-zero time constants (Tact ˆ 0:02 s) of the actuator.

In order to minimize passenger acceleration with the The training of the neural network, again using semi-

proposed control law, the following goal and constraints stochastic optimization with R ˆ 1:3, E ˆ 2 and

are de®ned: C ˆ 0:5, leads to the following values for Á and the

synaptic weights:

f …w† ˆ jxj ˆ minimum for Amax ˆ 11 cm

wT ˆ f¡2:789 £ 10 5 9:687 £ 105 256:8

g1 …w† ˆ jzj ¡ 0:08 m 0 6 5

…16† ¡2:564 £ 10 ¡2:342 £ 10 ¡6:059 £ 10 3

422g, ¢t ˆ 0:05 s

Equations (16) indicate that the neural network is trained

for minimum acceleration for Amax ˆ 11 cm. The train- In Fig. 4 are presented the results for the above case.

ing of the neural network, using semistochastic optimiza- Despite the small Tact value, the actuator is rather

Proc Instn Mech Engrs Vol 216 Part B: J Engineering Manufacture SC00102 IMechE 2002

A NEURAL NETWORK APPROACH TO THE DESIGN OF A SUSPENSION SYSTEM 837

Fig. 4 Time responses for the case of discontinuous operation of the controller, with road disturbance

maximum amplitude Amax ˆ 11 cm and time constant of the actuator, Tact ˆ 0:02 s

‘slow’; if the 3Tact ˆ 0:06 s value is compared with the Finally, in Fig. 5 are displayed the resulting (passive ‡

time needed for the force bump Tforce bump º 0:05 s, active) spring coe cient kres and damping coe cient cres :

3Tact =Tforce bump º 120 per cent. However, also in this

case, the neural network controller manages to control kres ² k ¡ w3 z

the acceleration, certainly at a cost of much higher

values for the acceleration (x1, max ˆ 14:2 m/s2 ) and for cres ² c ¡ w4 z ¡ w5 z_ ¡ w7 z2 ¡ w8 zz_ ¡ w9 z_2

the force ( fmax ˆ 4338 N). …17†

Fig. 5 Evolution of kres and cres with time in the case of discontinuous operation of the controller, with road

disturbance maximum amplitude Amax ˆ 11 cm and time constant of the actuator, Tact ˆ 0:02 s

SC00102 IMechE 2002 Proc Instn Mech Engrs Vol 216 Part B: J Engineering Manufacture

838 K N SPENTZAS AND S A KANARACHOS

It is interesting to note how the spring coe cient kres and REFERENCES

damping coe cient cres are increased in the presence of a

greater bump, in order to ful®l the z constraint. 1 Hrovat, D. Survey of advanced suspension developments and

related optimal control applications. Automatica, 1997, 33,

1781± 1817.

8 CONCLUSIONS 2 D’Amato, F. J. and Viassolo, D. E. Fuzzy control for active

suspensions. Mechatronics, 2000, 10, 897± 920.

In this short communication a new approach to the 3 Yoshimura, T., Nakaminami, K., Kurimoto, M. and Hino, J.

design of a non-linear hybrid car suspension system for Active suspension of passenger cars using linear and

fuzzy logic controls. Control Engng Practice, 1999, 7,

ride qualities using neural networks is brie¯y presented.

41±47.

The discontinuous operation of the controller (only

4 Ando, Y. and Suzuki, M. Control of active suspension system

when the amplitude of the road bump exceeds a certain using the singular perturbation method. Control Engng

value) has many advantages , e.g. lower power consump- Practice, 1996, 4, 287±293.

tion and greater lifetime, compared with a continuous 5 Kawabe, T., Isobe, O., Watanabe, Y., Hanba, S. and

operation of the active part of the suspension system. Miyasato, Y. New semi-active controller design using

The structure of the neural network controller is quasi-linearization and frequency shaping. Control Engng

derived from a Taylor series approximation of the non- Practice, 1998, 6, 1183 ±1191.

linear control function. Owing to the non-linearity of 6 Teramura, E., Haseda, S., Shimoyama, Y., Abe, T. and

the controller, the training of the neural network is not Matsuoka, K. Semi-active damping control system with

easy, as it experiences numerous local minima. For this smart actuator. JSAE Rev., 1997, 18, 323± 329.

7 Li, L. and Nagai, M. Control and evaluation of active

reason, a semistochastic parameter optimization

suspension for MDOF vehicle model. JSAE Rev., 1999, 20,

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343±348.

compared with other stochastic methods, e.g. GSA. 8 Ting, C.-S., Li, T.-F. and Kung, F.-C. Design of fuzzy con-

The numerical results, compared with resent results troller for active suspension system. Mechatronics, 1995, 5,

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tory. The applied methodology proves to be very ¯exible 9 Spentzas, K. N. and Kanarachos, S. A. Design of a non linear

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