Off-line model reduction for on-line linear MPC of nonlinear large-scale distributed systems

Weiguo Xie, Ioannis Bonis, Constantinos Theodoropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Model predictive control (MPC) is an efficient method for the controller design of a large number of processes. However, linear MPC is often inappropriate for controlling nonlinear large-scale systems, while non-linear MPC can be computationally costly. The resulting optimization-based procedure can lead to local minima due to the, non-convexities that non-linear systems can exhibit. To overcome the excessive computational cost of MPC application for large-scale nonlinear systems, model reduction methodology in conjunction with efficient system linearizations have been exploited to enable the efficient application of linear MPC for nonlinear distributed parameter systems (DPS). An off-line model reduction technique, the proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) method, combined with a finite element Galerkin projection is first used to extract accurate non-linear low-order models from the large-scale ones. Trajectory Piecewise-Linear (TPWL) methodologies are subsequently developed to construct a piecewise linear representation of the reduced nonlinear model, both in a static and in a dynamic fashion. Linear MPC, based on quadratic programming, can then be efficiently performed on the resulting low-order, piece-wise affine system. Our combined methodology is readily applicable in combination with advanced MPC methodologies such as multi-parametric MPC (MP-MPC) (Pistikopoulos, 2009). The stabilisation of the oscillatory behaviour of a tubular reactor with recycle is used as an illustrative example to demonstrate our methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)750-757
Number of pages8
JournalComputers and Chemical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 11 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the EC FP6 Project: CONNECT [COOP-2006-31638] and the EC FP7 project CAFÉ [ KBBE -212754].


  • Distributed systems
  • Model predictive control
  • Model reduction
  • Proper orthogonal decomposition
  • Trajectory piecewise-linear


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