On the use of suboptimal solvers for efficient cooperative distributed linear MPC

by Gabriele Pannocchia, Stephen J. Wright, and James B. Rawlings.

We address the problem of efficient implementations of distributed Model Predictive Control (MPC) systems for large-scale plants. We explore two possibilities of using suboptimal solvers for the quadratic program associated with the local MPC problems. The first is based on an active set method with early termination. The second is based on Partial Enumeration (PE), an approach that allows one to compute the (sub)optimal solution by using a solution table which stores the information of only a few most recently optimal active sets. The use of quick suboptimal solvers, especially PE, is shown to be beneficial because more cooperative iterations can be performed in the allowed given decision time. By using the available computation time for cooperative iterations rather than local iterations, we can improve the overall optimality of the strategy. We also discuss how input constraints that involve different units (for example, on the summation of common utility consumption) can be handled appropriately. Our main ideas are illustrated with a simulated example comprising three units and a coupled input constraint.