Approximate robust optimization of nonlinear systems under parametric uncertainty and process noise


  • D. Telen, M. Vallerio, L. Cabianca, B. Houska, J. Van Impe, F. Logist


  • Journal of Process Control,
    Volume 33, pages 140 - 154, 2015.


Dynamic optimization techniques for complex nonlinear systems can provide the process industry with sustainable and efficient operating regimes. The problem with these regimes is that they usually lie close to the limits of the process. It is therefore paramount that these operating conditions are robust with respect to the parameter uncertainties and to the process noise such that critical constraints are not violated. Besides the uncertainty in the constraints, also the uncertainty in the objective function needs to be taken into account. However, including robustness in an optimization problem typically leads to semi-infinite optimization problems that are challenging to solve in practice. In the current manuscript several computationally tractable methods are exploited to approximately solve the robust dynamic optimization problem. These methods allow the use of fast deterministic gradient based optimization techniques. The first type of methods are based on a linearization approach while the second method exploits the unscented transformation to construct an estimation of the uncertainty propagation. Both types provide the user with an approximation of the variance-covariance matrix of the critical constraints and of the objective function. This allows the user to easily take them into account in the dynamic optimization routine in a stochastic setting without the need of using computationally expensive Monte Carlo simulations in the optimization procedure. Moreover, an iterative scheme is mentioned to evaluate the approximate results and to improve them if necessary. Two illustrative case studies are discussed, a jacketed tubular reactor and the Williams-Otto reactor.



author = {D. Telen and M. Vallerio and L. Cabianca and B. Houska and J. Van Impe and F. Logist},
title = {Approximate robust optimization of nonlinear systems under parametric uncertainty and process noise},
journal = {Journal of Process Control},
year = {2015},
volume = {33},
pages = {140–154}