Automated Formal Synthesis of Digital Controllers for State-Space Physical Plants

Alessandro Abate, Iury Bessa, Dario Cattaruzza, Lucas Cordeiro, Cristina David, Pascal Kesseli, Daniel Kroening, Elizabeth Polgreen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


We present a sound and automated approach to synthesize safe digital feedback controllers for physical plants represented as linear, time-invariant models. Models are given as dynamical equations with inputs, evolving over a continuous state space and accounting for errors due to the digitization of signals by the controller. Our counterexample guided inductive synthesis (CEGIS) approach has two phases: We synthesize a static feedback controller that stabilizes the system but that may not be safe for all initial conditions. Safety is then verified either via BMC or abstract acceleration; if the verification step fails, a counterexample is provided to the synthesis engine and the process iterates until a safe controller is obtained. We demonstrate the practical value of this approach by automatically synthesizing safe controllers for intricate physical plant models from the digital control literature.

Supported by EPSRC grant EP/J012564/1, ERC project 28
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOMPUTER AIDED VERIFICATION, CAV 2017, PT I
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science


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