Plenary sessions

What type of control does the physicist need ?

by Prof. David Guéry-Odelin , (Click To read the biography)
University of Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, France,

The field of control is often studied in engineering or applied mathematics. Curiously, it is little or not present in the training of physicists. However, the laws of physics are found through functional minimizations, and the history of atomic physics is, for example, a history of the increasing control that physicists have acquired through the technological developments of their own community.
In this discussion of the growing role of control in modern physics, we will focus exclusively on examples of open-loop control. The objective here is most often to accelerate a physical transformation. If we will first propose some very simple control examples, we will then present some ideas developed in the framework of a new branch of control, initially developed to answer some quantum physics problems, the shortcuts to adiabiaticity. These methods are essentially not defined with respect to a functional to be minimized, but they can be adapted to meet such constraints. Actually, the development of quantum technologies opens up new problems closely related to control theory. Here are some concrete examples: How to extract the maximum information from a quantum system in a finite amount of time? How to accelerate quantum algorithms? How to prepare robustly a quantum state that is fragile by nature? etc...

Boundary stabilization of 1-D hyperbolic systems

by Prof. Jean-Michel Coron , (Click To read the biography)
Sorbonne Université, France,

Hyperbolic systems in one space dimension appear in various real life applications (navigable rivers and irrigation channels, heat exchangers, plug flow chemical reactors, gas pipe lines, chromatography,...). This talk will focus on the stabilization of these systems by means of boundary controls. Stabilizing feedback laws will be constructed. This includes explicit feedback laws which have been implemented for the regulation of the rivers La Sambre and La Meuse. The talk will also deal with the case where there are source terms and with the case where one is looking for a stabilization in the optimal time.

Symbolic control of nonlinear systems: safety, optimization and learning

by Dr. Antoine Girard , (Click To read the biography)
Laboratory of Signals and Systems, France,

Symbolic control is a computational approach to control nonlinear systems subject to state and input constraints. It is based on the use of symbolic models that are sound discrete-state approximations of the original dynamics. Symbolic models can be used to synthesize automatically controllers for the original system while providing safety guarantees. In the first part of the talk, I will give a short introduction to the field of symbolic control. The second part of the talk will be devoted to recent developments. I will show how symbolic control and model predictive control can be combined to design controllers with safety guarantees and optimized performance. I will also present recent approaches to compute symbolic models directly from data, paving the way to the development of safe learning approaches for nonlinear systems.

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