ACFR Papers at ACC 2022

Check out our latest work! ACFR researchers will be presenting the following papers at the American Control Conference Conference Program – ACC 2022 (, to be held in Atlanta June 8 -10:

Learning Stable Koopman Embeddings

Fletcher Fan, Bowen Yi, David Rye, Guodong Shi, and Ian R. Manchester

In this paper, we present a new data-driven method for learning stable models of nonlinear systems. Our model lifts the original state space to a higher-dimensional linear manifold using Koopman embeddings. Interestingly, we prove that every discrete-time nonlinear contracting model can be learnt in our framework. Another significant merit of the proposed approach is that it allows for unconstrained optimization over the Koopman embedding and operator jointly while enforcing stability of the model, via a direct parameterization of stable linear systems, greatly simplifying the computations involved. We validate our method on a simulated system and analyze the advantages of our parameterization compared to alternatives.


Youla-REN: Learning Nonlinear Feedback Policies with Robust Stability Guarantees

Ruigang Wang & Ian R. Manchester

This paper presents a parameterization of nonlinear controllers for uncertain systems building on a recently developed neural network architecture, called the recurrent equilibrium network (REN), and a nonlinear version of the Youla parameterization. The proposed framework has “built-in” guarantees of stability, i.e., all policies in the search space result in a contracting (globally exponentially stable) closed-loop system. Thus, it requires very mild assumptions on the choice of cost function and the stability property can be generalized to unseen data. Another useful feature of this approach is that policies are parameterized directly without any constraints, which simplifies learning by a broad range of policy-learning methods based on unconstrained optimization (e.g. stochastic gradient descent). We illustrate the proposed approach with a variety of simulation examples.


Multi-Stage Sparse Resource Allocation for Control of Spreading Processes over Networks

Vera Somers & Ian R. Manchester

In this paper we propose a method for sparse dynamic allocation of resources to bound the risk of spreading processes, such as epidemics and wildfires, using convex optimization and dynamic programming techniques. Here, risk is defined as the risk of an outbreak, i.e. the product of the probability of an outbreak occurring over a time interval and the future impact of that outbreak, and we can allocate budgeted resources each time step to bound or minimize the risk. Our method in particular provides sparsity of resources, which is important due to the large network structures involved with spreading processes and has advantages when resources can not be distributed widely.



Sydney Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems