Control configuration synthesis using agglomerative hierarchical clustering: A graph-theoretic approach

Lixia Kang, Wentao Tang, Yongzhong Liu, Prodromos Daoutidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This paper addresses the synthesis of control configurations that have optimal structural coupling characteristics between manipulated inputs and controlled outputs in terms of relative degrees. A recently developed agglomerative hierarchical clustering approach is reformulated in a graph theoretic setting. This allows the efficient generation of decentralized control configuration as well as the entire hierarchy of block decentralized control configurations. In addition, a notion of modularity is used to evaluate the compactness and separation of the resulting clusters, allowing the identification of optimal control configurations. The application of the proposed method is illustrated through case studies on an energy integrated fuel-cell system and a heat exchanger network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Process Control
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Partial financial support form the NSF-CBET is gratefully acknowledged. Lixia Kang was supported by the China Scholarship Council .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Block decentralized control
  • Control configuration synthesis
  • Distributed control
  • Graph theory
  • Plant-wide control


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