Co-design of Anytime Computation and Robust Control

Yash Vardhan Pant, Houssam Abbas, Kartik Mohta, Truong X. Nghiem, Joseph Devietti, Rahul Mangharam

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

18 Scopus citations


Control software of autonomous robots has stringent real-time requirements that must be met to achieve the control objectives. One source of variability in the performance of a control system is the execution time and accuracy of the state estimator that provides the controller with state information. This estimator is typically perception-based (e.g., Computer Vision-based) and is computationally expensive. When the computational resources of the hardware platform become overloaded, the estimation delay can compromise control performance and even stability. In this paper, we define a framework for co-designing anytime estimation and control algorithms, in a manner that accounts for implementation issues like delays and inaccuracies. We construct an anytime perception-based estimator from standard off-the-shelf Computer Vision algorithms, and show how to obtain a trade-off curve for its delay vs estimate error behaviour. We use this anytime estimator in a controller that can use this trade-off curve at runtime to achieve its control objectives at a reduced energy cost. When the estimation delay is too large for correct operation, we provide an optimal manner in which the controller can use this curve to reduce estimation delay at the cost of higher inaccuracy, all the while guaranteeing basic objectives are met. We illustrate our approach on an autonomous hexrotor and demonstrate its advantage over a system that does not exploit co-design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2015 IEEE 36th Real-Time Systems Symposium, RTSS 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781467395076
StatePublished - Jan 14 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event36th IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium, RTSS 2015 - San Antonio, United States
Duration: Dec 1 2015Dec 4 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - Real-Time Systems Symposium
ISSN (Print)1052-8725


Conference36th IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium, RTSS 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio


  • Anytime Algorithms
  • Co-design of computation and control
  • Hexrotor
  • Model Predictive Control
  • Robust Controller
  • Robust Switching Controller

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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