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Evolutionary adaptive active vibration control

M A Hossain1 and M O Tokhi2


1
Department of Computer Science, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
2
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, The University of Sheffield

Abstract: This paper presents an investigation into the development of an adaptive active control
mechanism for vibration suppression using genetic algorithms (GAs). GAs are used to estimate the
adaptive controller characteristics, where the controller is designed on the basis of optimal vibration
suppression using the plant model. This is realized by minimizing the prediction error of the actual plant
output and the model output. A MATLAB GA toolbox is used to identify the controller parameters. A
comparative performance of the conventional recursive least-squares (RLS) scheme and the GA is
presented. The active vibration control system is implemented with both the GA and the RLS schemes, and
its performance assessed in the suppression of vibration along a flexible beam structure in each case.

Keywords: active vibration control, genetic algorithms, recursive least squares, flexible beam structure

1 INTRODUCTION lation over a broad range of frequencies is achieved. In


practice, the spectral contents of the disturbances as well as
The methods of tackling the problems arising due to un- the characteristics of system components are, in general,
wanted structural vibrations (disturbances) consist of pas- subject to variation, giving rise to time-varying phenomena.
sive and active control. Traditional methods of vibration This implies that the control mechanism is further required
suppression include passive control, which consist of to be intelligent enough to track these variations so that
mounting passive material on the structure. These methods the desired level of performance is achieved and main-
are efficient at high frequencies but expensive and bulky at tained (2).
low frequencies. Moreover, the current trend towards Active vibration control is not a new concept. It is based
lightweight, and hence flexible, structures has imposed a on the principles that were initially proposed by Lueg in the
further limitation to the utilization of passive control early 1930s for noise cancellation (3). Since then a consid-
methods, especially for low-frequency vibration suppres- erable amount of research work has been devoted to the
sion. Active vibration control (AVC) is found to be more development of methodologies for the design and realiza-
efficient and economical than passive methods at low- tion of AVC systems in various applications (1, 2, 46).
frequency vibration suppression. Thus, to achieve vibration Active vibration control mechanisms that are developed
suppression over the full (lowhigh) frequency range, a generally concentrate on reducing the level of vibrations at
hybrid control method incorporating active techniques for selected resonance modes of the system. In doing so,
low-frequency and passive techniques for high-frequency problems related to observation and=or control spill-over
vibration suppression can be utilized (1). due to unmodelled dynamics of the system arise. These
Active vibration control consists of artificially generat- problems can be avoided by designing an AVC system that
ing cancelling source(s) to destructively interfere with the incorporates a suitable system identification algorithm
unwanted source and thus result in a reduction in the level through which an appropriate model of the system can be
of the vibration (disturbances) at desired location(s) in a developed within the frequency range of interest. The AVC
structure. This is realized by detecting and processing the system presented in this paper includes an on-line system
vibration by a suitable electronic controller so that, when identification algorithm which gives a suitable model of
superimposed on the disturbances, cancellation occurs. Due the system in parametric form within a broad range of
to the broadband nature of the disturbances, it is required frequencies of interest. The model thus obtained is then
that the control mechanism in an AVC system realizes used to design the required controller and generate the
suitable frequency-dependent characteristics so that cancel- corresponding control signal so as to reduce the level of
vibration over this broad frequency range.
The evolutionary genetic algorithm (GA), imitating the
The MS was received on 3 June 1996 and was accepted for publication on collective learning paradigm of natural populations, is
19 April 1997. based upon Darwin's observations and the modern syn-
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184 M A HOSSAIN AND M O TOKHI

thetic theory of evolution. A GA is a parallel global search @ y(0, t)


y(0, t) 0 and 0
technique that emulates natural genetic operators. Since it @x
(2)
simultaneously evaluates many points in the parameter @ 2 y(L, t) @ 3 y(L, t)
space, it is more likely to converge towards the global 0 and 0
@x 2 @x 3
solution. It does not need to assume that the search space is
differentiable or continuous, and can also iterate several Note that the model thus utilized incorporates no
times on each datum received. A GA applies operators damping. To construct a suitable platform for test and
inspired by the mechanics of natural selection to a popula- verification of the control mechanism (introduced later), a
tion of binary strings encoding the parameter space. At method of obtaining a numerical solution of the PDE in
each generation, it explores different areas of the parameter equation (1) is required. This can be achieved by using the
space and then directs the search to regions where there is a finite difference (FD) method. This involves a discretiza-
high probability of finding improved performance. By tion of the beam into a finite number of equal-length
working with a population of solutions the algorithm can in sections (segments), each of length x, and considering the
effect search many local minima and thereby increases the beam motion (deflection) for the end of each section at
likelihood of finding the global minimum. The GAs were equally spaced time steps of duration t. Thus, using first-
first introduced in the 1960s, embedding into the general order central FD methods to approximate the partial
framework of adaptation (7). During the last two decades, a derivative terms in equations (1) and (2) yields (13)
substantial amount of research work has been carried out
both in engineering and non-engineering disciplines (8 1
Y j1 Yj 1 2 SY j (t)2 U (x, t) (3)
10). Although GAs have gained popularity as parallel, m
global search techniques (11), their use in the area of active
control is very limited. where Y k (k j 1, j, j 1) is an n 3 1 matrix repre-
This paper presents an investigation into the use of GAs senting the deflection of grid points 1 to n of the beam at
to estimate the adaptive controller characteristics, where time step k, S is a matrix, given in terms of characteristics
the controller is designed based on the plant model. This is of the beam and the discretization steps t and x, and
realized by minimizing the prediction error of the actual 2 (t)2 (x) 4 2 . Equation (3) is the required relation
plant output and the model output. A MATLAB GA for the simulation algorithm, characterizing the behaviour
toolbox is utilized to identify the controller parameters. A of the cantilever beam system, that can be implemented on
comparative performance of the conventional recursive a digital computer easily. For the algorithm to be stable it is
least-squares (RLS) scheme and the GA is presented. The required that the iterative scheme described in equation (3),
AVC algorithm is implemented with both the GA and the for each grid point, converges to a solution. It has been
RLS schemes and its performance assessed in the suppres- shown that a necessary and sufficient condition for stability
sion of vibration along a flexible beam structure. satisfying this convergence requirement is given by
0 , 2 < 0:25 (12).

2 THE FLEXIBLE BEAM SYSTEM 3 THE ACTIVE VIBRATION CONTROL SYSTEM

Consider a cantilever beam of length L, fixed at one end A schematic diagram of an AVC structure is shown in Fig.
and free at another, with a force U (x, t) applied at a 1a. An unwanted (primary disturbance) point source emits
distance x from its fixed (clamped) end at time t, resulting broadband disturbance into the structure. This is detected
in a deflection y(x, t) of the beam from its stationary by a detector, processed by a controller of suitable transfer
(unmoved) position at the point where the force has been characteristics and fed to a cancelling (secondary) point
applied. The motion of the beam in transverse vibration is, actuator. The secondary (control) signal thus generated
thus, governed by the well-known fourth-order partial interferes with the disturbance so as to achieve a reduction
differential equation (PDE) (12, 13) in the level of vibration at an observation point along the
structure.
A frequency-domain equivalent block diagram of the
@ 4 y(x, t) @ 2 y(x, t) 1
2 U (x, t) (1) AVC structure is shown in Fig. 1b, where E, F, G and H are
@x 4 @ t2 m
transfer functions of the paths between the primary source
and the detector, secondary source and the detector, primary
where is a beam constant given by 2 EI=(rA) with r, source and the observer and secondary source and the
A, I and E representing the mass density, cross-sectional observer respectively. M, M O , C and L are transfer charac-
area, moment of inertia of the beam and the Young teristics of the detector, the observer, the controller and the
modulus respectively, and m is the mass of the beam. The secondary source respectively. U D and U C are the primary
corresponding boundary conditions at the fixed and free and secondary signals at the source locations, whereas YOD
ends of the beam are given by and YOC are the corresponding signals at the observation
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EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTIVE ACTIVE VIBRATION CONTROL 185

Fig. 1 Active vibration control structure: (a) schematic diagram, (b) block diagram

point respectively. U M is the detected signal and YO is the Equation (4) is the required controller design rule given
observed signal. The block diagram in Fig. 1b can be in terms of transfer characteristics Q0 and Q1 which can be
thought of either in the continuous frequency (s) domain or measured=estimated on-line. An on-line design and im-
discrete frequency (z) domain. Therefore, unless specified, plementation of the controller can thus be achieved by
the analysis and design developed in this paper apply to both obtaining Q0 and Q1 using a suitable system identification
the continuous-time and the discrete-time domains. algorithm, then using equation (4) to calculate the con-
troller transfer function and implementing this on a digital
processor. Moreover, to monitor system performance and
3.1 Controller design
update the controller characteristics upon changes in the
For complete cancellation of the disturbance to be achieved system a supervisory level control can be utilized. This
at the observation point YO must be forced to become zero. results in a self-tuning AVC mechanism. The supervisor is
This is equivalent to the minimum variance design criterion designed to monitor system performance on the basis of a
in a stochastic environment. This requires the primary and prespecified quantitative measure of cancellation as an
secondary signals at the observation point to be equal in index of performance, so that if the cancellation achieved is
amplitude and have a phase difference of 1808 relative to within the specified range then the algorithm implementa-
one another. To allow the development of a self-tuning AVC tion remains at the control level. However, if the cancella-
algorithm, consider the system in Fig. 1 with the detected tion is outside the specified range then self-tuning is
signal, UM , as input and the observed signal, YO , as output. reinitiated at the identification level. The supervisory level
Moreover, owing to the state of the secondary source, let the can also be facilitated with further levels of intelligence
system behaviour be characterized by two subsystems, such as monitoring system stability, system performance in
namely, when the secondary is off, with an equivalent a transient period and validation of the plant model at the
transfer function denoted by Q0, and when the secondary identification level.
source is on, with an equivalent transfer function denoted by In implementing the self-tuning control algorithm de-
Q1 . Thus, synthesizing the controller within the block scribed above, several issues of practical importance need
diagram of Fig. 1b on the basis of the above objective yields. to be given careful consideration. These include properties
  of the disturbance signal, robustness of the estimation and
Q1 1 control, system stability and processor-related issues such
C 1 (4)
Q0 as word length, speed and computational power (2, 13).
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186 M A HOSSAIN AND M O TOKHI

3.2 Identification is adopted, where q is the number of input=output samples,


y(n) is the desired (plant) output and ^y(n) is the estimated
The conventional on-line system identification schemes, model output.
such as least squares, instrumental variable, maximum The process of calculation of parameters of the controller
likelihood, etc., are in essence local search techniques. uses the design rule in equation (4) with the estimated Q0
These techniques often fail in the search for the global and Q1 . The controller thus obtained can be implemented
optimum if the search space is not differentiable or linear in on-line in discrete form using the equivalent difference
the parameters. On the other hand, these techniques do not equation formulation.
iterate more than once on each datum received. In contrast, a
GA simultaneously evaluates many points in the parameter
space and converges towards the global solution. It does not 4 IMPLEMENTATIONS AND RESULTS
require the search space to be differentiable or continuous
and can also iterate several times on each datum received
The fitness function in equation (5) was implemented for
(11). A genetic algorithm differs from other search techni-
both Q0 and Q1 considering each as a linear discrete
ques by the use of concepts taken from natural genetics and
second-order model. Investigations showed that the conver-
evolution theory. Firstly, the algorithm works with a
gence varies with changes in the number of individuals or in
population of strings, searching many peaks in parallel. By
the representation. It was noted that the case where
employing genetic operators it exchanges information be-
parameters of the model were represented by 20 bit strings
tween the peaks, hence reducing the possibility of ending at
for 30 individuals offered the best convergence. Thus, this
a local minimum and missing the global minimum.
configuration was utilized subsequently throughout this
Secondly, it works with a coding of the parameters, not the
investigation at estimating Q0 and Q1 . The convergence of
parameters themselves. Intuitively, it is better to have few
prediction errors for Q0 and Q1 was obtained over 300
possible options for many bits than to have many options for
generations. Figure 2 shows the desired (plant) output and
few bits. Thirdly, the algorithm only needs to evaluate the
the estimated model output for the two models thus obtained
objective function to guide its search. There is no require-
using the GA. The corresponding outputs with second-order
ment for derivatives or other auxiliary knowledge. The only
estimated models using the RLS algorithm are shown in
available feedback from the system is the value of the
Fig. 3. It is noted that, as compared to the RLS estimation,
performance measure of the current population. Finally, the
the GA achieved a significantly better performance.
transition rules are probabilistic rather than deterministic.
To investigate the performance of the self-tuning AVC
A GA in its simplest form uses three operators: repro-
algorithm, an aluminium-type cantilever beam of length
duction=selection, crossover and mutation (10). These
L 0.635 m, mass m 0.037 kg and 1.351 was
operators are applied iteratively to each generation of in-
simulated by dividing the beam into 19 segments. For the
dividuals. The first operation, reproduction=selection, will
simulation algorithm to be stable a sample period
choose individuals for mating based on their objective
t 0:3 ms, which is sufficient to cover all the resonance
value. The objective value represents how good that
modes of vibration of the beam, was selected, giving a
solution is and usually requires some form of function to be
value of 0:3629. To allow dominant modes of vibration
evaluated. The second operation, crossover, will take these
of the beam to be excited, a PRBS disturbance force of
pairs and exchange elements of the data structures. The
0:1N applied at grid point 12 was used as the unwanted
crossover may result in the progeny having a higher or
primary disturbance and the control source at grid point 20.
lower objective value as compared to the parents. The final
In general, two factors, namely, the nature of the dis-
operation, mutation, will periodically modify parts of the
turbance including its amplitude and frequency contents
data structure of an individual, therefore making it repre-
and the location at which it is applied, determine the
sent a different point in the search space. Mutation drives
dynamic modes of the structure that are excited and the
the GA into exploring alternative areas of the search space.
level at which these modes will appear. Moreover, in AVC
The process of identification is described here as the
applications, system stability is affected by the geometrical
process of estimating parameters of the required controller
arrangement of system components (14). These were the
characteristics. In this manner, it consists of the processes
determining factors at choosing the type and location of the
of estimating the system models Q0 and Q1 and the
disturbance in this work. The controller was implemented
controller design calculation. The RLS algorithm (14) and
based on the plant model estimated utilizing GAs. Figure 4
GAs are used here to estimate the system models Q0 and
shows the response of the beam before and after cancella-
Q1 in the discrete-time domain in parametric form.
tion at the observation point (grid point 20). Figure 5 shows
The GAs are based on the method of minimization of the
the corresponding time-domain representation of the beam
prediction error. To estimate the parameters of Q0 and Q1
fluctuation along its length. It was noted, through a spectral
using GAs, the fitness function
density representation of the results in Fig. 4, that a
X
q cancellation of about 10 dB was achieved at the first
f (e) j y(n) ^y(n)j (5) resonance mode. The cancellation at the second resonance
n0 mode was 1 dB. The vibrations at the third, fourth and fifth
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EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTIVE ACTIVE VIBRATION CONTROL 187

Fig. 2 Performance of the GA based models: (a) desired (solid line) and estimated (dashed line) output
for Q0 ; (b) desired (solid line) and estimated (dashed line) output for Q1
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188 M A HOSSAIN AND M O TOKHI

Fig. 3 Performance of the RLS-based models: (a) desired (solid line) and estimated (dashed line)
output for Q0 ; (b) desired (solid line) and estimated (dashed line) output for Q1
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EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTIVE ACTIVE VIBRATION CONTROL 189

Fig. 4 System response at the observation point with the GA-based AVC system: (a) before
cancellation, (b) after cancellation
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190 M A HOSSAIN AND M O TOKHI

Fig. 5 Beam fluctuation along its length with the GA-based AVC system: (a) before cancellation,
(b) after cancellation

resonance modes were slightly reinforced. This was due to To compare with a conventional RLS-based AVC
the low-order linear model considered in the estimation system, the controller was also implemented in a similar
process mainly to account for the highly dominant modes. manner utilizing the RLS estimator. Figure 6 shows the
This suggests that better cancellation may be achieved with performance of the RLS-based AVC system at the observa-
a higher order model or by using a non-linear model. tion point. The corresponding time-domain fluctuation
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EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTIVE ACTIVE VIBRATION CONTROL 191

Fig. 6 System response at the observation point with the RLS-based AVC system: (a) before
cancellation, (b) after cancellation
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192 M A HOSSAIN AND M O TOKHI

along the beam length is shown in Fig. 7. It was noted, modes were slightly reinforced. Thus, it can be concluded
through a spectral density representation of the results in from this investigation that the conventional RLS-based
Fig. 6, that a cancellation of about 8 dB was achieved at the AVC system is unimpressive as compared to the GA-based
first resonance mode and 0.28 dB at the second resonance system.
mode. The vibrations at the third and fourth resonance It was noted in the experiments above that the execution

Fig. 7 Beam fluctuation along its length with the RLS-based AVC system: (a) before cancellation,
(b) after cancellation
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EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTIVE ACTIVE VIBRATION CONTROL 193

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