Geometric control theory I: mathematical foundations

Massa, Enrico
Bruno, Danilo
Pagani, Enrico
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A geometric setup for control theory is presented. The argument is developed through the study of the extremals of action functionals defined on piecewise differentiable curves, in the presence of differentiable non-holonomic constraints. Special emphasis is put on the tensorial aspects of the theory. To start with, the kinematical foundations, culminating in the so called variational equation, are put on geometrical grounds, via the introduction of the concept of infinitesimal control . On the same basis, the usual classification of the extremals of a variational problem into normal and abnormal ones is also rationalized, showing the existence of a purely kinematical algorithm assigning to each admissible curve a corresponding abnormality index, defined in terms of a suitable linear map. The whole machinery is then applied to constrained variational calculus. The argument provides an interesting revisitation of Pontryagin maximum principle and of the Erdmann-Weierstrass corner conditions, as well as a proof of the classical Lagrange multipliers method and a local interpretation of Pontryagin's equations as dynamical equations for a free (singular) Hamiltonian system. As a final, highly non-trivial topic, a sufficient condition for the existence of finite deformations with fixed endpoints is explicitly stated and proved.
Comment: replaced by the more recent article arXiv:1503.08808
Mathematics - Optimization and Control, Mathematical Physics, 49K, 70D10, 58F05