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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2025
  2. Inspired by the work of Tsiamis et al. [1], in this paper we study the statistical hardness of learning to stabilize linear time-invariant systems. Hardness is measured by the number of samples required to achieve a learning task with a given probability. The work in [1] shows that there exist system classes that are hard to learn to stabilize with the core reason being the hardness of identification. Here we present a class of systems that can be easy to identify, thanks to a non-degenerate noise process that excites all modes, but the sample complexity of stabilization still increases exponentially with the system dimension. We tie this result to the hardness of co-stabilizability for this class of systems using ideas from robust control. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 13, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  4. Linear temporal logic (LTL) with the knowledge operator, denoted as KLTL, is a variant of LTL that incorporates what an agent knows or learns at run-time into its specification. Therefore it is an appropriate logical formalism to specify tasks for systems with unknown components that are learned or estimated at run-time. In this paper, we consider a linear system whose system matrices are unknown but come from an a priori known finite set. We introduce a form of KLTL that can be interpreted over the trajectories of such systems. Finally, we show how controllers that guarantee satisfaction of specifications given in fragments of this form of KLTL can be synthesized using optimization techniques. Our results are demonstrated in simulation and on hardware in a drone scenario where the task of the drone is conditioned on its health status, which is unknown a priori and discovered at run-time. 
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  5. Falls during sit-to-stand are a common cause of injury. The ability to perform this movement with ease is itself correlated with a lower likelihood of falling. However, a rigorous mathematical understanding of stability during sit-to-stand does not currently exist, particularly in different environments and under different movement control strategies. Having the means to isolate the different factors contributing to instability during sit-to-stand could have great clinical utility, guiding the treatment of fall-prone individuals. In this work, we show that the region of stable human movement during sit-to-stand can be formulated as the backward reachable set of a controlled invariant target, even under state-dependent input constraints representing variability in the environment. This region represents the ‘best-case’ boundaries of stable sit-to-stand motion. We call this the stabilizable region and show that it can be easily computed using existing backward reachability tools. Using a dataset of humans performing sit-to-stand under perturbations, we also demonstrate that the controlled invariance and backward reachability approach is better able to differentiate between a true loss of stability versus a change in control strategy, as compared with other methods. 
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  6. We revisit the problem of computing (robust) controlled invariant sets for discrete-time linear systems. Departing from previous approaches, we consider implicit, rather than explicit, representations for controlled invariant sets. Moreover, by considering such representations in the space of states and finite input sequences we obtain closed-form expressions for controlled invariant sets. An immediate advantage is the ability to handle high-dimensional systems since the closed-form expression is computed in a single step rather than iteratively. To validate the proposed method, we present thorough case studies illustrating that in safety-critical scenarios the implicit representation suffices in place of the explicit invariant set. The proposed method is complete in the absence of disturbances, and we provide a weak completeness result when disturbances are present. 
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  7. Koopman liftings have been successfully used to learn high dimensional linear approximations for autonomous systems for prediction purposes, or for control systems for leveraging linear control techniques to control nonlinear dynamics. In this paper, we show how learned Koopman approximations can be used for state-feedback correct-by-construction control. To this end, we introduce the Koopman over-approximation, a (possibly hybrid) lifted representation that has a simulation-like relation with the underlying dynamics. Then, we prove how successive application of controlled predecessor operation in the lifted space leads to an implicit backward reachable set for the actual dynamics. Finally, we demonstrate the approach on two nonlinear control examples with unknown dynamics. 
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