The goal of the research projects in “networked dynamical systems” and “adaptive control in networked control systems” is to understand mechanisms that drive global dynamic behavior in complex systems and develop methods for technological conversion of achieved theoretical results. Electric infrastructures are chosen as application due to its significance in science and technology with an impetus for societal changes and vice versa.
Theory of large-scale interconnected systems
Global dynamic behavior is characterized in a modus ponens through local dynamical systems that interact with each other in a certain way: a graph structure assigns pair-wise relations, and communication allows for information exchange. Specific performance criteria for operation in the context of robustness and efficiency require specific laws for local controls and local-to-local interactions. Understanding complexity in this context means to understand how global behavior as operational mode of a network can be shaped by intrinsically enhancing the collective's interaction in a desired direction: how does a network of dynamical systems process information and how does this processed quantity lead to desired functionality?!
Control, communication & optimization
In a systems and control context these issues are handled in the emerging field of distributed control and cyber-physical adaptive control systems: a “cyber-structure” monitors, predicts and manages a networks function in parallel to local operation. Hence, “cyber-physical” systems require methods for the co-design of control and communication architectures, which combine adaptive switching controllers with a multi-modal real-time system.
Dynamics of energy markets
On the other hand, a large portion of uncertainty comes from the interaction of technology (smart grid as cyber-physical infrastructure) with consumers. Demand and supply of electric power need to be balanced in real-time, and additionally, the production and transport of electrical energy shall be accomplished in an economically efficient way. Energy markets are meant to handle organizational issues on this level, whereat new problems arise: Pricing mechanism that couple demand and supply via generation and transportation costs are seen to produce dynamics in energy markets in terms of feedback-loops. Pricing schemes as control laws have to be designed adequate to produce well-behaved closed-loop systems. Estimation techniques and performance-oriented control play a crucial role in diminishing uncertainty and volatility in pricing and power generation.