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Willy K. Wojsznis, Terrance L. Blevins, and Peter Wojsznis Emerson Process Management 8627 Mopac, Austin, TX 78759

Adaptive Control, PID Control, Feedforward Control, Self-Tuning

This paper presents an adaptive PID controller using multi-model evaluation. The design uses a set of models, switching strategy, and parameter interpolation. Interpolation is based on the integrated squared error assigned to every value of the model parameter. The adaptation of model parameters is performed sequentially, which results in fast evaluation of multiple models and improved convergence. The first order plus dead time models are applied in the tested prototype. Simulation and field test results of the prototype show good tuning properties with set point changes and natural or injected process disturbances. Adaptive technique can be applied with both feedback and feedforward control.

Logic-based switching strategies have been proposed by many researchers as a way to implement adaptive control [1]. The strategies can be divided into two broad categories. One approach uses pre-routed controller tuning which tries candidate controllers from a prescribed set, one after the other, until one that is found performs satisfactorily. Pre-routed tuners are simple and impose few requirements on controller structure. Unfortunately, the advantages of pre-routed tuners are outweighted by poor tuning time performance [1]. An alternative approach uses an identifier-based parameterized controller consisting of two parameterdependent subsystems, one, an identifier whose primary function is to generate an output estimation error, and the other, an internal controller [1]. A control signal fed back to the process is based on a current estimate of the process model. In general, such estimates are selected from a suitably defined admissible model set. The overall strategy is based on the concept of cyclic switching. Cyclic switching can be used with or without process excitation. A good review and evaluation of this approach is given by K. S. Narendra and J. Balakrishnan in [2]. They considered architecture with N identification models operating in parallel. A parameterized controller corresponds to each model. At every instant, one of the models is selected by a switching rule and the corresponding control input is used to control the process. Models can be fixed or adaptive. The rationale for using fixed models is to ensure that there is at least one model with parameters sufficiently close to those of the unknown process. The approach yields the desired speed of adaptation, but requires the use of significant number of models. However,

Copyright 2003 by ISA The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society. Presented at ISA Expo 2003;

since fixed models can represent only a finite number of environments, adaptive models are used to improve accuracy asymptotically. Practical application of switching strategies poses implementation problems due to the number of models required for a reasonable process approximation. Even in a simple single-input single-output (SISO) system, a self-tuner should account for hundreds of fixed models. This problem grows exponentially for multivariable systems. More effective solutions require the consideration of specific process model structure, controller type, and the replacement of a simple switching strategy with a more effective procedure. A significantly modified approach has been proposed by Gendron for the Dahlin controller [3]. A simple first order plus dead time process model has been considered and process adaptation has been narrowed down to the dead time. Instead of simple switching, the controller assumes a process model that has a weighted sum of models with different dead times. Each model in the set generates a prediction of the process output and the corresponding weight is adjusted automatically as a simple function of the prediction error. The concept has been later extended by Gendron and Holko to incorporate both process gain and dead time for a Dahlin controller [4]. This paper presents an adaptive controller that addresses the shortcomings of the known methods discussed above. Specifically, the controller is capable of providing adaptation for feedback and feedforward control. The model switching strategy has been extended and modified by introducing a parameter interpolation approach that makes it possible to dramatically reduce the number of models used for adaptation. Salient features of the presented technology include: shorter adaptation time, complete process model identification, and reduction in required process excitation.


There are two general ways to design a PID adaptive controller: direct and indirect or identifier based. As previously stated, an identifier based approach is advantageous for switching strategies, therefore this approach is used for an adaptive PID controller with model switching and parameter interpolation. The main objectives of the adaptive design presented here are to: 1. Provide a unified solution for feedback and feedforward adaptive PID control 2. Achieve a shorter adaptation time 3. Adapt a model which does not set constraints on using PID tuning rules 4. Achieve simplicity of the design 5. Achieve adaptation with insignificant excitation of the process A general adaptive PID controller structure with model parameter interpolation is shown in Figure 1.

Copyright 2003 by ISA The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society. Presented at ISA Expo 2003;

Controller Redesign


Model evaluation

Excitation Generator

Feedforward Controller

Model Interpolator

Model Set


PID Controller


PID loop data flow

Adaptive System Data Flow

Adaptive System Control Signal Flow

Figure 1. Adaptive feedforward/feedback PID controller with model parameter interpolation The design is based on the set of models. A model can have any form, but it is composed of a finite number of parameters. All models have the same structure with m parameters. Assigning n values for every parameter, the model set will have N = nm models. An adaptive controller operates in the following way as shown in Figure 1: The supervisor detects changes on the process output y, on the process input u, and on the disturbance (feedforward) input d. If changes on any input exceed the minimum level, it starts model evaluation. Model evaluation involves several steps: 1. Model initialization and adjustment of the models output with the current process output 2. Model incremental update based on the changes of u and d 3. Computing for every model squared error: Ei (t ) = ( y (t ) Yi (t ) )


where: y (t ) is the process output at the time t

Yi (t ) is the i-th model output Ei (t ) is the squared error for the model i E(t) = [E1(t ),..., Ei (t ),..., EN (t )] are squared errors for models 1,,N The norm (1) is assigned for every parameter value of the model i, if the parameter value is used in the evaluated model. A zero is assigned to any parameter value that is not part of the evaluated model. Next, the model i+1 is evaluated, and again norm (1) is computed for the model and assigned for every
Copyright 2003 by ISA The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society. Presented at ISA Expo 2003;

parameter value of the model i+1 and added to the previously assigned norm for every parameter value. The process continues until all models are evaluated. As a result of the evaluation, every parameter value is assigned a sum of squared errors from all models in which this specific parameter value has been used. In the one scan t therefore, every parameter value pkl, k = 1,2,.,m; l = 1,2,,n. has assigned norms:

Ep kl (t ) = kl Ei (t )
i =1


where: k is parameter type l is parameter value Ep kl (t ) - the evaluation norm of the parameter p kl at the scan t N number of models kl = 1 , if parameter value p kl is used in the model I, and kl = 0 , if p kl is not used in the evaluated model Model evaluation is repeated in the scan t+1 and the sum of the squared errors for every parameter value is added to the sum of the appropriate parameter value accumulated in the previous scans. The adaptation cycle continues through a declared number of scans (1 to M), or until there is enough excitation on the inputs. As a result of this procedure, every parameter value pkl is assigned the accumulated value of the squared errors over a period of evaluation:
sumEp kl = Ep kl (t )
t =1 M


At the end of the adaptation cycle, the inverse of the sum is calculated for every parameter value pkl: 1 Fkl = (4) sumEp kl An adaptive parameter value pk(a) for the parameter pk is calculated as a weighted average of all values of this parameter:

p k ( a ) = p k 1 f k 1 + ... + p kl f kl + ... + p kn f kn where F f k 1 = kl



(6) (7)

sumFk = Fk 1 + ... + Fkl + ... + Fkn

Calculated parameters define a new model set with center parameter values pk(a), k = 1,m, and the range of parameter changes as assumed in the design. The range of changes is conveniently defined as +-%. Within that range, two parameters at a minimum should be defined. Practically, two additional parameters pk (a)+ % pk (a)/100, and pk (a)- % pk (a)/100 are defined around the parameter pk (a). Every parameter has defined lower and upper limits for adaptation and if pk (a) exceeds the limit, it is clamped to the limit. As soon as a model has been updated, controller redesign takes place based on updated pk(a), k = 1,m model parameters. A first order plus dead time process model is adequate
Copyright 2003 by ISA The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society. Presented at ISA Expo 2003;

both for the PID feedback and feedforward loops. The process model can be represented by the diagram shown in Figure 2. Adaptation can proceed for the whole model or separately for the feedback or feedforward part of the model that relates output to input with the required excitation level. The external excitations can be injected into the feedback loop automatically. The applied excitations can be a small change of the set point or controller output in Manual or Automatic modes. The controller output change of 2-3% in Automatic mode is enough for process model identification in simulation with noise level on the output up to 1% as shown in Figure 3.
d Feedforward path Dead Time 2 u Feedback path Dead Time 1 Filter 1 Gain 1 Filter 2 Gain 2 Y

Figure 2. Model structure used in adaptive PID controller

With three values for every parameter of the model shown in Figure 2 there are 33 = 27 models for the feedback and the same number for the feedforward path. Improved convergence and reduction in the number of models has been achieved by the following amendments to the basic algorithm: 1. Performing parameter adaptation sequentially one parameter at a time. In this way, the number of model combinations for the first order plus dead time model has been reduced to 3+3+3=9 2. Performing adaptation for only two parameters with minimum error values 3. Using the original data set and performing adaptation iteratively by running the algorithm several times After model adaptation completes, controller redesign begins. Since a complete first order plus dead time process model is used, any tuning rules can be applied, typically Lambda or IMC tuning [10]. For the feedforward path, the full dynamic feedforward controller design formula (8) can be applied [12]: Kff 1 + s u (8) Gff = Ku 1 + s ff where: Gff - feedforward controller transfer function K ff , ff - static gain and time constant of the feedforward model K u , u - static gain and time constant of the feedback model

Copyright 2003 by ISA The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society. Presented at ISA Expo 2003;

Figure 3. An example of minimal excitation on the process input (upper plot) and output required for the process model identification


An adaptive controller prototype has been implemented in a distributed scalable control system. Details on the system can be found in [6], [7]. The OPC mirror program allows for easy connection to any installed system during the test. An easy to use interface facilitates initial setting, tuning results review and validation. The process is estimated by the following model: Y (k ) = aY (k 1) + bu (k 1 hn) (9)


h b = K m 1 e = K m (1 a )


h - loop scan period

u - process input incremental change since adaptation started

Y - model incremental change

- model time constant
In a sequential procedure of updating one parameter over a calculation cycle updating was performed in the sequence K m , n, a. The basic adaptive properties of the algorithm have been confirmed in the Matlab simulation, in the DCS simulation, in the lab and finally in the industrial environment.

Copyright 2003 by ISA The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society. Presented at ISA Expo 2003;

The representative test results from industrial test for flow loops and temperature loops are presented below.
Flow loops

The caustic flow loop with PID original tuning parameters Gain =.3, Reset = 18 sec has been tested in Auto and Manual modes with results shown in Table 1. Adaptive tuning recommendations for Normal PID tuning are: Gain = 1.23 and Reset = 6.87 sec and Slow tuning: Gain = .63 and Reset 7.14 sec. Adaptive settings demonstrated visibly better step responses the user accepted slow adaptive tuning replacing the original settings. Table 1. Flow loop adaptation test results (adapted model parameters are in bold)
Test no Mode Change Scan Tss Gain Tau/lag Td Init G Init Tau Init Td FC-76-721 (Caustic loop) 1 2 Auto Auto SP SP (4.79->4.0) (4.0->4.79) 2.0 2.0 248 248 0.835 0.988 9.743 9.957 1.094 1.563 1.81 15.5 1.56 3 Man OUT (42->37) 2.0 248 0.884 6.167 1.094 4 Man OUT (37->42) 2.0 248 0.861 6.482 1.53

Figure 4 illustrates changes in Auto and Manual modes and improved loop performance after accepting adaptive tuning results.

Figure 4. Caustic flow loop adaptation test

Copyright 2003 by ISA The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society. Presented at ISA Expo 2003;

The adaptive tuning technique provides a good validation by matching process data with simulation results. An example of the validation plot is shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. Adaptive validation plots

The results of the second flow loop adaptation with original PI controller tuning, Gain = .2 and Reset = 6 sec is shown in the Table 2. Table 2
Test no Mode Change Scan Tss G T Td FC-03-517 1 Auto SP (16->18) 2.0 72 0.66 10.457 0.9 2 Auto SP Bump (18->16->18) 2.0 72 0.779 5.76 1.49 3 Auto SP (18->14) 2.0 72 0.656 2.416 1.16 4 Auto SP (14->18) 2.0 140 0.636 1.125 0.927 5 Auto MAN OUT (~57->45) 2.0 140 0.681 1.125 4.857

The adapted time constant converged to a significantly smaller value (1.125 sec) than the initial time constant (10.457 sec). The adaptive result was easily confirmed by the test in Manual mode with steady state output achieved within one scan. The test demonstrated that adaptation performed properly even at a scan rate much slower than the recommended for the tested loop (assuming time constant 1.12 sec, proper scan period should be .2 sec or at least .5 sec).
Temperature loop

The test was performed in Auto mode by a subsequent SP change in the range +-3 degree F as shown in Table 3 and Figure 6. The test results show convergence to the higher process gain and larger time constant than initially assumed. After increasing reset and decreasing gain as recommended by the adaptive tuner in the first and the third test, the set point response is improved proving proper direction of adaptive convergence. The validation plot for test 3 is shown in Figure 7. Temperature loop

Copyright 2003 by ISA The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society. Presented at ISA Expo 2003;

adaptation demonstrates that although parameters converge in a proper direction, it may be required to adapt 2 or 3 times to get a good process model, especially when initial controller parameters are not suitable and the loop may overshoot or be oscillatory. On the other hand, one adaptation test may be sufficient to deliver a significant tuning improvement Table 3
Test no Mode Change Scan Tss G T Td Init G Init T Init Td PID G PID I PID D 1 Auto SP (101->104) 5.0 1800 2.75 878 203 1.263 547 105 0.5 600 0 2 Auto Multiple SP 5.0 2200 2.772 1351 182 3 Auto SP Bump (101->104->101) 5.0 3600 3.029 1548 72 5 Auto SP (104->101) 5.0 3600 4.075 2200 198

0.5 836 0

0.5 836 0

0.42 1200 0

Figure 6. Temperature loop adaptive tuning

Copyright 2003 by ISA The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society. Presented at ISA Expo 2003;

Figure 7. Validation plot for the temperature loop

The PID adaptive tuner with model parameter interpolation has proven to be a reliable solution for PID adaptive loop tuning. It provides a process model that can be used with any tuning rules. The process model is identified with minimal excitation, typically 3 to 5%, though good results have been achieved with 2% excitation. The model validation can be used as a primary safety check, easily accomplished by matching model and real process outputs. The technique is suitable both for the feedback and feedforward control as well as for the multivariable processes. In PID loops it can be applied in an adaptive controller or as an enhancement of tuner on-demand and performance monitoring system.

1. Morse, F. M. Pait, S. R. Weller, Logic-Based Switching Strategies for Self-Adjusting Control, 33rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, Workshop Number 5. Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, December 1994. 2. Kumpati S. Narendra, and Jeyendran Balakrishnan, Adaptive Control Using Multiple Models, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control,. Vol. 42, No. 2, pp.177-187, February 1997. 3. Gendron, S., Improving the Robustness of Dead-time Compensators for Plants with Unknown or Varying Delay, Preprints of the Control Systems 90 Conference, Helsinki, 1990. 4. Gendron, S.,Holko, A. P., Simple Adaptive Digital Dead-time Compensators for Low-order SISO Processes, Xerox copy, publication unknown. 5. Astrom, K.J. and T. Hagglund, PID Controllers: Theory, Design, and Tuning, ISA 1995. 6. Getting Started with Your DeltaVTM Software, Fisher-Rosemount Systems Inc. 2003. 7.

Copyright 2003 by ISA The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society. Presented at ISA Expo 2003;