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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 560702, 17 pages
Research Article

Time-Varying Scheme for Noncentralized Model Predictive Control of Large-Scale Systems

1Section of Railway Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, Netherlands
2Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial (CSIC-UPC), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Carrer Llorens i Artigas 4-6, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
3Departamento de Ingeniería de Sistemas y Automática, University of Seville, Camino de los Descubrimientos s/n, 41092 Seville, Spain
4Delft Center for Systems and Control, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft, Netherlands

Received 23 June 2015; Revised 17 August 2015; Accepted 19 August 2015

Academic Editor: Qingling Zhang

Copyright © 2015 Alfredo Núñez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The noncentralized model predictive control (NC-MPC) framework in this paper refers to any distributed, hierarchical, or decentralized model predictive controller (or a combination of them) the structure of which can change over time and the control actions of which are not obtained based on a centralized computation. Within this framework, we propose suitable online methods to decide which information is shared and how this information is used between the different local predictive controllers operating in a decentralized, distributed, and/or hierarchical way. Evaluating all the possible structures of the NC-MPC controller leads to a combinatorial optimization problem. Therefore, we also propose heuristic reduction methods, to keep the number of NC-MPC problems tractable to be solved. To show the benefits of the proposed framework, a case study of a set of coupled water tanks is presented.