Optimal control of the state statistics for a linear stochastic system

Yongxin Chen, Tryphon Georgiou, Michele Pavon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


We consider a variant of the classical linear quadratic Gaussian regulator (LQG) in which penalties on the endpoint state are replaced by the specification of the terminal state distribution. The resulting theory considerably differs from LQG as well as from formulations that bound the probability of violating state constraints. We develop results for optimal state-feedback control in the two cases where i) steering of the state distribution is to take place over a finite window of time with minimum energy, and ii) the goal is to maintain the state at a stationary distribution over an infinite horizon with minimum power. For both problems the distribution of noise and state are Gaussian. In the first case, we show that provided the system is controllable, the state can be steered to any terminal Gaussian distribution over any specified finite time-interval. In the second case, we characterize explicitly the covariance of admissible stationary state distributions that can be maintained with constant state-feedback control. The conditions for optimality are expressed in terms of a system of dynamically coupled Riccati equations in the finite horizon case and in terms of algebraic conditions for the stationary case. In the case where the noise and control share identical input channels, the Riccati equations for finite-horizon steering become homogeneous and can be solved in closed form. The present paper is largely based on our recent work in [1], [2] and presents an overview of certain key results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication54rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control,CDC 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781479978861
StatePublished - Feb 8 2015
Event54th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2015 - Osaka, Japan
Duration: Dec 15 2015Dec 18 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
Volume54rd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control,CDC 2015
ISSN (Print)0743-1546
ISSN (Electronic)2576-2370


Other54th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IEEE.


  • Linear stochastic systems
  • covariance control
  • stationary distributions
  • stochastic optimal control


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