Real-time trajectory generation for constrained nonlinear dynamical systems using non-uniform rational B-spline basis functions

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Melvin E. Flores
PhD dissertation, Control and Dynamical Systems, Nov 2007

The thesis describes a new method for obtaining minimizers for optimal control problems whose minima serve as control policies for guiding nonlinear dynamical systems to achieve prescribed goals under imposed trajectory and actuator constraints. One of the major contributions of the present work resides in the approximation of such minimizers by piecewise polynomial functions expressed in terms of a linear combination of non-uniform rational B-spline (NURBS) basis functions and the judicious exploitation of the properties of the resulting NURBS curves to improve the computational effort often associated with solving optimal control problems for constrained dynamical systems. In particular, by exploiting the two structures combined in a NURBS curve, NURBS basis functions and an associated union of overlapping polytopes constructed from the coefficients of the linear combination, we are able to separate an optimal control problem into two subproblems