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Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Engineering and Applied Science

Dr. Margareta Stefanovic's Research

Adaptive systems learning in evolving and uncertain environments are ubiquitous. We have investigated the robustness of such systems with guaranteed stability and performance objectives. In particular, stability and performance robustness conditions for general nonlinear systems within a switching controller environment have been studied. Algorithms for an efficient sorting of a class of acceptable controllers from the pool of candidate control laws have been designed, and an on-going work is performed toward sifting through a class of algorithms to identify those that ensure fast recognition of a destabilizing controller in the loop. The results of this work were summarized in the invited Springer monograph Safe Adaptive Control: Data-Driven Stability Analysis and Robust Synthesis  (Lecture Notes on Control and Information Sciences, by Margareta Stefanovic and Michael G. Safonov).
The ideas gleaned from the control theoretic approach can be applied toward various areas of the general systems-centric research, specifically network- and networked control, as well as the control of wind turbines and wind turbine arrays. Network control encompasses congestion control over communication networks (for example TCP/IP network stability using Active Queue Management schemes, such as Random Early Detection or equivalent feedback algorithms). We have shown that an improved regulation of the queue size of a congested router as well as flow rates in the face of widely varying network parameters (e.g., in satellite communications) can be achieved by adapting ideas from the safe switching control. In addition, we have developed a novel packet routing algorithm that achieves an efficient optimization of network resources in satellite networks. The area of networked control we have investigated pertains to the control of multi-agent networks, which have a broad range of applications such as: multi-vehicle coordination, control of sensor networks, unmanned vehicles, and energy systems.

Dr. Margareta Stefanovic, faculty member of the University of Wyoming's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

In the domain of adaptive sensor network modeling, control and simulation, we have studied the construction of mobile sensor networks to provide ad hoc communication in an urban battlefield theater. This research work, in collaboration with colleagues from UW ECE department, is aimed toward the development of novel technologies for addressing backbone formation and optimal localization for sensor networks.  We are investigating the problems of connectedness, topology control and backbone formation for mobile ad hoc networks. For example, broadcasting data in a network of distributed agents can lead to a significant degradation in the network capacity and overall efficiency if global flooding protocols are used. Thus, it is preferred to force the effective broadcasts of control packets to happen in a small subset of nodes in the network, which leads to the idea of virtual backbone-based routing in ad hoc wireless networks.

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