A journal of IEEE and CAA , publishes high-quality papers in English on original theoretical/experimental research and development in all areas of automation

## Early Access

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, Available online
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Sampling-based path planning is a popular methodology for robot path planning. With a uniform sampling strategy to explore the state space, a feasible path can be found without the complex geometric modeling of the configuration space. However, the quality of the initial solution is not guaranteed, and the convergence speed to the optimal solution is slow. In this paper, we present a novel image-based path planning algorithm to overcome these limitations. Specifically, a generative adversarial network (GAN) is designed to take the environment map (denoted as RGB image) as the input without other preprocessing works. The output is also an RGB image where the promising region (where a feasible path probably exists) is segmented. This promising region is utilized as a heuristic to achieve non-uniform sampling for the path planner. We conduct a number of simulation experiments to validate the effectiveness of the proposed method, and the results demonstrate that our method performs much better in terms of the quality of the initial solution and the convergence speed to the optimal solution. Furthermore, apart from the environments similar to the training set, our method also works well on the environments which are very different from the training set.
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In this paper, we deal with questions related to blockchains in complex Internet of Things (IoT)-based ecosystems. Such ecosystems are typically composed of IoT devices, edge devices, cloud computing software services, as well as people, who are decision makers in scenarios such as smart cities. Many decisions related to analytics can be based on data coming from IoT sensors, software services, and people. However, they are typically based on different levels of abstraction and granularity. This poses a number of challenges when multiple blockchains are used together with smart contracts. This work proposes to apply our concept of elasticity to smart contracts and thereby enabling analytics in and between multiple blockchains in the context of IoT. We propose a reference architecture for Elastic Smart Contracts and evaluate the approach in a smart city scenario, discussing the benefits in terms of performance and self-adaptability of our solution.
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Controlling multiple multi-joint fish-like robots has long captivated the attention of engineers and biologists, for which a fundamental but challenging topic is to robustly track the postures of the individuals in real time. This requires detecting multiple robots, estimating multi-joint postures, and tracking identities, as well as processing fast in real time. To the best of our knowledge, this challenge has not been tackled in the previous studies. In this paper, to precisely track the planar postures of multiple swimming multi-joint fish-like robots in real time, we propose a novel deep neural network-based method, named TAB-IOL. Its TAB part fuses the top-down and bottom-up approaches for vision-based pose estimation, while the IOL part with Long Short-Term Memory considers the motion constraints among joints for precise pose tracking. The satisfying performance of our TAB-IOL is verified by testing on a group of freely swimming fish-like robots in various scenarios with strong disturbances and by a deed comparison of accuracy, speed, and robustness with most state-of-the-art algorithms. Further, based on the precise pose estimation and tracking realized by our TAB-IOL, several formation control experiments are conducted for the group of fish-like robots. The results clearly demonstrate that our TAB-IOL lays a solid foundation for the coordination control of multiple fish-like robots in a real working environment. We believe our proposed method will facilitate the growth and development of related fields.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1004204
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The border gateway protocol (BGP) has become the indispensible infrastructure of the Internet as a typical inter-domain routing protocol. However, it is vulnerable to misconfigurations and malicious attacks since BGP does not provide enough authentication mechanism to the route advertisement. As a result, it has brought about many security incidents with huge economic losses. Exiting solutions to the routing security problem such as S-BGP, So-BGP, Ps-BGP, and RPKI, are based on the Public Key Infrastructure and face a high security risk from the centralized structure. In this paper, we propose the decentralized blockchain-based route registration framework-decentralized route registration system based on blockchain (DRRS-BC). In DRRS-BC, we produce a global transaction ledge by the information of address prefixes and autonomous system numbers between multiple organizations and ASs, which is maintained by all blockchain nodes and further used for authentication. By applying blockchain, DRRS-BC perfectly solves the problems of identity authentication, behavior authentication as well as the promotion and deployment problem rather than depending on the authentication center. Moreover, it resists to prefix and subprefix hijacking attacks and meets the performance and security requirements of route registration.
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Directly grasping the tightly stacked objects may cause collisions and result in failures, degenerating the functionality of robotic arms. Inspired by the observation that first pushing objects to a state of mutual separation and then grasping them individually can effectively increase the success rate, we devise a novel deep Q-learning framework to achieve collaborative pushing and grasping. Specifically, an efficient non-maximum suppression policy (PolicyNMS) is proposed to dynamically evaluate pushing and grasping actions by enforcing a suppression constraint on unreasonable actions. Moreover, a novel data-driven pushing reward network called PR-Net is designed to effectively assess the degree of separation or aggregation between objects. To benchmark the proposed method, we establish a dataset containing common household items (CHID) in both simulation and real scenarios. Although trained using simulation data only, experiment results validate that our method generalizes well to real scenarios and achieves a 97% grasp success rate at a fast speed for object separation in the real-world environment.
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In this paper, we study the system performance of mobile edge computing (MEC) wireless sensor networks (WSNs) using a multiantenna access point (AP) and two sensor clusters based on uplink nonorthogonal multiple access (NOMA). Due to limited computation and energy resources, the cluster heads (CHs) offload their tasks to a multiantenna AP over Nakagami-m fading. We proposed a combination protocol for NOMA-MEC-WSNs in which the AP selects either selection combining (SC) or maximal ratio combining (MRC) and each cluster selects a CH to participate in the communication process by employing the sensor node (SN) selection. We derive the closed-form exact expressions of the successful computation probability (SCP) to evaluate the system performance with the latency and energy consumption constraints of the considered WSN. Numerical results are provided to gain insight into the system performance in terms of the SCP based on system parameters such as the number of AP antennas, number of SNs in each cluster, task length, working frequency, offloading ratio, and transmit power allocation. Furthermore, to determine the optimal resource parameters, i.e. the offloading ratio, power allocation of the two CHs, and MEC AP resources, we proposed two algorithms to achieve the best system performance. Our approach reveals that the optimal parameters with different schemes significantly improve SCP compared to other similar studies. We use Monte Carlo simulations to confirm the validity of our analysis.
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Protein-protein interactions are of great significance for human to understand the functional mechanisms of proteins. With the rapid development of high-throughput genomic technologies, massive protein-protein interaction (PPI) data have been generated, making it very difficult to analyze them efficiently. To address this problem, this paper presents a distributed framework by reimplementing one of state-of-the-art algorithms, i.e., CoFex, using MapReduce. To do so, an in-depth analysis of its limitations is conducted from the perspectives of efficiency and memory consumption when applying it for large-scale PPI data analysis and prediction. Respective solutions are then devised to overcome these limitations. In particular, we adopt a novel tree-based data structure to reduce the heavy memory consumption caused by the huge sequence information of proteins. After that, its procedure is modified by following the MapReduce framework to take the prediction task distributively. A series of extensive experiments have been conducted to evaluate the performance of our framework in terms of both efficiency and accuracy. Experimental results well demonstrate that the proposed framework can considerably improve its computational efficiency by more than two orders of magnitude while retaining the same high accuracy.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1004213
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The speed regulation problem with only speed measurement is investigated in this paper for a permanent magnet direct current (DC) motor driven by a buck converter. By lumping all unknown matched/unmatched disturbances and uncertainties together, the traditional active disturbance rejection control (ADRC) approach provides an intuitive solution for the problem under consideration. However, for such a higher-order disturbed system, the increase of poles for the extended state observer (ESO) therein will lead to drastically growth of observer gains, which causes severe noise amplification. This paper aims to propose a new model-based disturbance rejection controller for the converter-driven DC motor system using output-feedback. Instead of estimating lumped disturbances directly, a new observer is constructed to estimate the desired steady state of control signal as well as errors between the real states and their desired steady-state responses. Thereafter, a controller with only speed measurement is proposed by utilizing the estimates. The performance of the proposed method is tested through experiments on dSPACE. It is further shown via numerical calculations and experimental results that the poles of the observer within the proposed control approach can be largely increased without significantly increasing magnitude of the observer gains.
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A large amount of research has shown the vitality of siphon enumeration in the analysis and control of deadlocks in various resource-allocation systems modeled by Petri nets (PN). In this paper, we propose an algorithm for the enumeration of minimal siphons in PN based on problem decomposition. The proposed algorithm is an improved version of the global partitioning minimal-siphon enumeration (GPMSE) proposed by Cordone et al. (2005) in IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics - Part A: Systems and Humans, which is widely used in the literature to compute minimal siphons. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm consumes lower computational time and memory compared with GPMSE, which becomes more evident when the size of the handled net grows.
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Electronic voting has partially solved the problems of poor anonymity and low efficiency associated with traditional voting. However, the difficulties it introduced into the supervision of the vote counting, as well as its need for a concurrent guaranteed trusted third party, should not be overlooked. With the advent of blockchain technology in recent years, its features such as decentralization, anonymity, and non-tampering have made it a good candidate in solving the problems that electronic voting faces. In this study, we propose a multi-candidate voting model based on the blockchain technology. By introducing an asymmetric encryption and an anonymity-preserving voting algorithm, votes can be counted without relying on a third party, and the voting results can be displayed in real time in a manner that satisfies various levels of voting security and privacy requirements. Experimental results show that the proposed model solves the aforementioned problems of electronic voting without significant negative impact from an increasing number of voters or candidates.
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In this paper, we present a novel data-driven design method for the human-robot interaction (HRI) system, where a given task is achieved by cooperation between the human and the robot. The presented HRI controller design is a two-level control design approach consisting of a task-oriented performance optimization design and a plant-oriented impedance controller design. The task-oriented design minimizes the human effort and guarantees the perfect task tracking in the outer-loop, while the plant-oriented achieves the desired impedance from the human to the robot manipulator end-effector in the inner-loop. Data-driven reinforcement learning techniques are used for performance optimization in the outer-loop to assign the optimal impedance parameters. In the inner-loop, a velocity-free filter is designed to avoid the requirement of end-effector velocity measurement. On this basis, an adaptive controller is designed to achieve the desired impedance of the robot manipulator in the task space. The simulation and experiment of a robot manipulator are conducted to verify the efficacy of the presented HRI design framework.
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Electricity theft is one of the major issues in developing countries which is affecting their economy badly. Especially with the introduction of emerging technologies, this issue became more complicated. Though many new energy theft detection (ETD) techniques have been proposed by utilising different data mining (DM) techniques, state & network (S&N) based techniques, and game theory (GT) techniques. Here, a detailed survey is presented where many state-of-the-art ETD techniques are studied and analysed for their strengths and limitations. Three levels of taxonomy are presented to classify state-of-the-art ETD techniques. Different types and ways of energy theft and their consequences are studied and summarised and different parameters to benchmark the performance of proposed techniques are extracted from literature. The challenges of different ETD techniques and their mitigation are suggested for future work. It is observed that the literature on ETD lacks knowledge management techniques that can be more effective, not only for ETD but also for theft tracking. This can help in the prevention of energy theft, in the future, as well as for ETD.
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In daily life, people use their hands in various ways for most daily activities. There are many applications based on the position, direction, and joints of the hand, including gesture recognition, gesture prediction, robotics and so on. This paper proposes a gesture prediction system that uses hand joint coordinate features collected by the Leap Motion to predict dynamic hand gestures. The model is applied to the NAO robot to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. First of all, in order to reduce jitter or jump generated in the process of data acquisition by the Leap Motion, the Kalman filter is applied to the original data. Then some new feature descriptors are introduced. The length feature, angle feature and angular velocity feature are extracted from the filtered data. These features are fed into the long-short time memory recurrent neural network (LSTM-RNN) with different combinations. Experimental results show that the combination of coordinate, length and angle features achieves the highest accuracy of 99.31%, and it can also run in real time. Finally, the trained model is applied to the NAO robot to play the finger-guessing game. Based on the predicted gesture, the NAO robot can respond in advance.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1004060
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This paper deals with the co-design problem of event-triggered communication scheduling and platooning control over vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANETs) subject to finite communication resource. First, a unified model is presented to describe the coordinated platoon behavior of leader-follower vehicles in the simultaneous presence of unknown external disturbances and an unknown leader control input. Under such a platoon model, the central aim is to achieve robust platoon formation tracking with desired inter-vehicle spacing and same velocities and accelerations guided by the leader, while attaining improved communication efficiency. Toward this aim, a novel bandwidth-aware dynamic event-triggered scheduling mechanism is developed. One salient feature of the scheduling mechanism is that the threshold parameter in the triggering law is dynamically adjusted over time based on both vehicular state variations and bandwidth status. Then, a sufficient condition for platoon control system stability and performance analysis as well as a co-design criterion of the admissible event-triggered platooning control law and the desired scheduling mechanism are derived. Finally, simulation results are provided to substantiate the effectiveness and merits of the proposed co-design approach for guaranteeing a trade-off between robust platooning control performance and communication efficiency.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1004216
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Satellite swarm coordinated flight (SSCF) technology has promising applications, but its complex nature poses significant challenges for control implementation. In response, this paper proposes an adaptive control scheme for SSCF system that considers relative position constraints subject to actuator efficiency loss and external disturbances. Most existing adaptive controllers based on the certainty-equivalent (CE) principle show unpredictability and non-convergence in their online parameter estimations. To overcome the above vulnerabilities and the difficulties caused by input failures of SSCF, this paper proposes an adaptive estimator based on scaling immersion and invariance (I&I), which reduces the computational complexity while improving the performance of the parameter estimator. Besides, a Barrier Lyapunov function (BLF) is applied to satisfy both the boundedness of the system states and the singularity avoidance of the computation. It is proved that the estimator error becomes sufficiently small to converge to a specified attractive invariant manifold and the closed-loop SSCF system can obtain asymptotic stability under full-state constraints. Finally, numerical simulations are performed for comparison and analysis to verify the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed method.
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This paper studies price-based residential demand response management (PB-RDRM) in smart grids, in which non-dispatchable and dispatchable loads (including general loads and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)) are both involved. The PB-RDRM is composed of a bi-level optimization problem, in which the upper-level dynamic retail pricing problem aims to maximize the profit of a utility company (UC) by selecting optimal retail prices (RPs), while the lower-level demand response (DR) problem expects to minimize the comprehensive cost of loads by coordinating their energy consumption behavior. The challenges here are mainly two-fold: 1) the uncertainty of energy consumption and RPs; 2) the flexible PEVs' temporally coupled constraints, which make it impossible to directly develop a model-based optimization algorithm to solve the PB-RDRM. To address these challenges, we first model the dynamic retail pricing problem as a Markovian Decision Process (MDP), and then employ a model-free reinforcement learning (RL) algorithm to learn the optimal dynamic RPs of UC according to the loads' responses. Our proposed RL-based DR algorithm is benchmarked against two model-based optimization approaches (i.e., distributed dual decomposition-based (DDB) method and distributed primal-dual interior (PDI)-based method), which require exact load and electricity price models. The comparison results show that, compared with the benchmark solutions, our proposed algorithm can not only adaptively decide the RPs through on-line learning processes, but also achieve larger social welfare within an unknown electricity market environment.
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The essential requirement for precise localization of a self-driving car is a lane-level map which includes road markings (RMs). Obviously, we can build the lane-level map by running a mobile mapping system (MMS) which is equipped with a high-end 3D LiDAR and a number of high-cost sensors. This approach, however, is highly expensive and ineffective since a single high-end MMS must visit every place for mapping. In this paper, a lane-level RM mapping system using a monocular camera is developed. The developed system can be considered as an alternative to expensive high-end MMS. The developed RM map includes the information of road lanes (RLs) and symbolic road markings (SRMs). First, to build a lane-level RM map, the RMs are segmented at pixel level through the deep learning network. The network is named RMNet. The segmented RMs are then gathered to build a lane-level RM map. Second, the lane-level map is improved through loop-closure detection and graph optimization. To train the RMNet and build a lane-level RM map, a new dataset named SeRM set is developed. The set is a large dataset for lane-level RM mapping and it includes a total of 25,157 pixel-wise annotated images and 21,000 position labeled images. Finally, the proposed lane-level map building method is applied to SeRM set and its validity is demonstrated through experimentation.
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Reliable and accurate calibration for camera, inertial measurement unit (IMU) and robot is a critical prerequisite for visual-inertial based robot pose estimation and surrounding environment perception. However, traditional calibrations suffer inaccuracy and inconsistency. To address these problems, this paper proposes a monocular visual-inertial and robotic-arm calibration in a unifying framework. In our method, the spatial relationship is geometrically correlated between the sensing units and robotic arm. The decoupled estimations on rotation and translation could reduce the coupled errors during the optimization. Additionally, the robotic calibration moving trajectory has been designed in a spiral pattern that enables full excitations on 6 DOF motions repeatably and consistently. The calibration has been evaluated on our developed platform. In the experiments, the calibration achieves the accuracy with rotation and translation RMSEs less than 0.7° and 0.01 m respectively. The comparisons with state-of-the-art results prove our calibration consistency, accuracy and effectiveness.
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Nonlinear equations systems (NESs) are widely used in real-world problems and they are difficult to solve due to their nonlinearity and multiple roots. Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) are one of the methods for solving NESs, given their global search capabilities and ability to locate multiple roots of a NES simultaneously within one run. Currently, the majority of research on using EAs to solve NESs focuses on transformation techniques and improving the performance of the used EAs. By contrast, problem domain knowledge of NESs is investigated in this study, where we propose the incorporation of a variable reduction strategy (VRS) into EAs to solve NESs. The VRS makes full use of the systems of expressing a NES and uses some variables (i.e., core variable) to represent other variables (i.e., reduced variables) through variable relationships that exist in the equation systems. It enables the reduction of partial variables and equations and shrinks the decision space, thereby reducing the complexity of the problem and improving the search efficiency of the EAs. To test the effectiveness of VRS in dealing with NESs, this paper mainly integrates the VRS into two existing state-of-the-art EA methods (i.e., MONES and DR-JADE) according to the integration framework of the VRS and EA, respectively. Experimental results show that, with the assistance of the VRS, the EA methods can produce better results than the original methods and other compared methods. Furthermore, extensive experiments regarding the influence of different reduction schemes and EAs substantiate that a better EA for solving a NES with more reduced variables tends to provide better performance.
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This paper is concerned with the consensus problem for high-order continuous-time multiagent systems with both state and input delays. A novel approach referred to as pseudopredictor feedback protocol is proposed. Unlike the predictorbased feedback protocol which utilizes the open-loop dynamics to predict the future states, the pseudo-predictor feedback protocol uses the closed-loop dynamics of the multiagent systems to predict the future agent states. Full-order/reduced-order observer-based pseudo-predictor feedback protocols are proposed, and it is shown that the consensus is achieved and the input delay is compensated by the proposed protocols. Necessary and sufficient conditions guaranteeing the stability of the integral delay systems are provided in terms of the stability of the series of retarded-type time-delay systems. Furthermore, compared with the existing predictor-based protocols, the proposed pseudopredictor feedback protocol is independent of the input signals of the neighboring agents and is easier to implement. Finally, a numerical example is given to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approaches.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2020.1003399
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Safety assessment is one of important aspects in health management. In safety assessment for practical systems, three problems exist: lack of observation information, high system complexity and environment interference. Belief rule base with attribute reliability (BRB-r) is an expert system that provides a useful way for dealing with these three problems. In BRB-r, once the input information is unreliable, the reliability of belief rule is influenced, which further influences the accuracy of its output belief degree. On the other hand, when many system characteristics exist, the belief rule combination will explode in BRB-r, and the BRB-r based safety assessment model becomes too complicated to be applied. Thus, in this paper, to balance the complexity and accuracy of the safety assessment model, a new safety assessment model based on BRB-r with considering belief rule reliability is developed for the first time. In the developed model, a new calculation method of the belief rule reliability is proposed with considering both attribute reliability and global ignorance. Moreover, to reduce the influence of uncertainty of expert knowledge, an optimization model for the developed safety assessment model is constructed. A case study of safety assessment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tank is conducted to illustrate the effectiveness of the new developed model.
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In this paper, a novel remaining useful life prediction approach considering fault effects is proposed. The Wiener process is used to construct the degradation process of single performance characteristic with the fault effects. The first passage time based remaining useful life distribution is calculated by assuming fault occurrence moment is a random variable and follows a certain distribution. Expectation maximization algorithm is employed to estimate model parameters, where the fault occurrence moment is considered as a missing data. Finally, a Copula function is used to describe the dependence between the multiple performance characteristics and derive joint remaining useful life (RUL) distribution of product with the fault effects. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is verified by the experiments of turbofan engines.
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In this paper, we review and analyze intrusion detection systems for Agriculture 4.0 cyber security. Specifically, we present cyber security threats and evaluation metrics used in the performance evaluation of an intrusion detection system for Agriculture 4.0. Then, we evaluate intrusion detection systems according to emerging technologies, including, Cloud computing, Fog/Edge computing, Network virtualization, Autonomous tractors, Drones, Internet of things, Industrial agriculture, and Smart Grids. Based on the machine learning technique used, we provide a comprehensive classification of intrusion detection systems in each emerging technology. Furthermore, we present public datasets, and the implementation frameworks applied in the performance evaluation of intrusion detection systems for Agriculture 4.0. Finally, we outline challenges and future research directions in cyber security intrusion detection for Agriculture 4.0.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1004183
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This paper addresses the problem of global practical stabilization of discrete-time switched affine systems via state-dependent switching rules. Several attempts have been made to solve this problem via different types of a common quadratic Lyapunov function and an ellipsoid. These classical results require either the quadratic Lyapunov function or the employed ellipsoid to be of the centralized type. In some cases, the ellipsoids are defined dependently as the level sets of a decentralized Lyapunov function. In this paper, we extend the existing results by the simultaneous use of a general decentralized Lyapunov function and a decentralized ellipsoid parameterized independently. The proposed conditions provide less conservative results than existing works in the sense of the ultimate invariant set of attraction size. Two different approaches are proposed to extract the ultimate invariant set of attraction with a minimum size, i.e., a purely numerical method and a numerical-analytical one. In the former, both invariant and attractiveness conditions are imposed to extract the final set of matrix inequalities. The latter is established on a principle that the attractiveness of a set implies its invariance. Thus, the stability conditions are derived based on only the attractiveness property as a set of matrix inequalities with a smaller dimension. Illustrative examples are presented to prove the satisfactory operation of the proposed stabilization methods.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1004144
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Accurate multi-source fusion is based on the reliability, quantity, and fusion mode of the sources. The problem of selecting the optimal set for participating in the fusion process is nondeterministic-polynomial-time-hard and is neither sub-modular nor super-modular. Furthermore, in the case of the Kalman filter (KF) fusion algorithm, accurate statistical characteristics of noise are difficult to obtain, and this leads to an unsatisfactory fusion result. To settle the referred cases, a distributed and adaptive weighted fusion algorithm based on KF has been proposed in this paper. In this method, on the basis of the pseudo prior probability of the estimated state of each source, the reliability of the sources is evaluated and the optimal set is selected on a certain threshold. Experiments were performed on multi-source pedestrian dead reckoning for verifying the proposed algorithm. The results obtained from these experiments indicate that the optimal set can be selected accurately with minimal computation, and the fusion error is reduced by 16.6% as compared to the corresponding value resulting from the algorithm without improvements. The proposed adaptive source reliability and fusion weight evaluation is effective against the varied-noise multi-source fusion system, and the fusion error caused by inaccurate statistical characteristics of the noise is reduced by the adaptive weight evaluation. The proposed algorithm exhibits good robustness, adaptability, and value on applications.
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This paper considers the leader-following consensus for a class of nonlinear switched multi-agent systems with non-strict feedback forms and input saturations under unknown switching mechanisms. First, in virtue of Gaussian error functions, the saturation nonlinearities are represented by asymmetric saturation models. Second, neural networks are utilized to approximate some unknown packaged functions, and the structural property of Gaussian basis functions is introduced to handle the non-strict feedback terms. Third, by using the backstepping process, a common Lyapunov function is constructed for all the subsystems of the followers. At last, we propose an adaptive consensus protocol, under which the tracking error under arbitrary switching converges to a small neighborhood of the origin. The effectiveness of the proposed protocol is illustrated by a simulation example.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1004162
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This paper designs a decentralized resilient H load frequency control (LFC) scheme for multi-area cyber-physical power systems (CPPSs). Under the network-based control framework, the sampled measurements are transmitted through the communication networks, which may be attacked by energy-limited denial-of-service (DoS) attacks with a characterization of the maximum count of continuous data losses (resilience index). Each area is controlled in a decentralized mode, and the impacts on one area from other areas via their interconnections are regarded as the additional load disturbance of this area. Then, the closed-loop LFC system of each area under DoS attacks is modeled as an aperiodic sampled-data control system with external disturbances. Under this modeling, a decentralized resilient H scheme is presented to design the state-feedback controllers with guaranteed H performance and resilience index based on a novel transmission interval-dependent loop functional method. When given the controllers, the proposed scheme can obtain a less conservative H performance and resilience index that the LFC system can tolerate. The effectiveness of the proposed LFC scheme is evaluated on a one-area CPPS and two three-area CPPSs under DoS attacks.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1004171
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In this paper, the detection capabilities and system performance of an energy harvesting (EH) Internet of Things (IoT) architecture in the presence of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) eavesdropper (UE) are investigated. The communication protocol is divided into two phases. In the first phase, a UAV relay (UR) cooperates with a friendly UAV jammer (UJ) to detect the UE, and the UR and UJ harvest energy from a power beacon (PB). In the second phase, a ground base station (GBS) sends a confidential signal to the UR using non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA); the UR then uses its harvested energy to forward this confidential signal to IoT destinations (IDs) using the decode-and-forward (DF) technique. Simultaneously, the UJ uses its harvested energy to emit an artificial signal to combat the detected UE. A closed-form expression for the probability of detecting the UE (the detection probability, DP) is derived to analyze the detection performance. Furthermore, the intercept probability (IP) and throughput of the considered IoT architecture are determined. Accordingly, we identify the optimal altitudes for the UR and UJ to enhance the system and secrecy performance. Monte Carlo simulations are employed to verify our approach.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1004174
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Inter-satellite link (ISL) scheduling is required by the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) to guarantee the system ranging and communication performance. In the BDS, a great number of ISL scheduling instances must be addressed every day, which will certainly spend a lot of time via normal metaheuristics and hardly meet the quick-response requirements that often occur in real-world applications. To address the dual requirements of normal and quick-response ISL schedulings, a data-driven heuristic assisted memetic algorithm (DHMA) is proposed in this paper, which includes a high-performance memetic algorithm (MA) and a data-driven heuristic. In normal situations, the high-performance MA that hybridizes parallelism, competition, and evolution strategies is performed for high-quality ISL scheduling solutions over time. When in quick-response situations, the data-driven heuristic is performed to quickly schedule high-probability ISLs according to a prediction model, which is trained from the high-quality MA solutions. The main idea of the DHMA is to address normal and quick-response schedulings separately, while high-quality normal scheduling data are trained for quick-response use. In addition, this paper also presents an easy-to-understand ISL scheduling model and its NP-completeness. A seven-day experimental study with 10 080 one-minute ISL scheduling instances shows the efficient performance of the DHMA in addressing the ISL scheduling in normal (in 84 hours) and quick-response (in 0.62 hour) situations, which can well meet the dual scheduling requirements in real-world BDS applications.
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In this paper, a new recursive least squares identification algorithm with variable-direction forgetting (VDF) is proposed for multi-output systems. The objective is to enhance parameter estimation performance under non-persistent excitation. The proposed algorithm performs oblique projection decomposition of the information matrix, such that forgetting is applied only to directions where new information is received. Theoretical proofs show that even without persistent excitation, the information matrix remains lower and upper bounded, and the estimation error variance converges to be within a finite bound. Moreover, detailed analysis is made to compare with a recently reported VDF algorithm that exploits eigenvalue decomposition (VDF-ED). It is revealed that under non-persistent excitation, part of the forgotten subspace in the VDF-ED algorithm could discount old information without receiving new data, which could produce a more ill-conditioned information matrix than our proposed algorithm. Numerical simulation results demonstrate the efficacy and advantage of our proposed algorithm over this recent VDF-ED algorithm.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2019.1911549
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To balance the contradiction between higher flexibility and heavier load bearing capacity, we present a novel deformable manipulator which is composed of active rigid joints and deformable links. The deformable link is composed of passive spherical joints with preload forces between socket-ball surfaces. To estimate the load bearing capacity of a deformable link, we present a static force-based model of spherical joint with preload force and analyze the static force propagation in the deformable link. This yields an important result that the load bearing capacity of a spherical joint only depends on its radius, preload force, and static friction coefficient. We further develop a parameter estimation method to estimate the product of preload force and static friction coefficient. The experimental results validate our model. 80.4% of percentage errors on the maximum payload mass prediction are below 15%.
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As a cross-cutting field between ocean development and multi-robot system (MRS), the underwater multi-robot system (UMRS) has gained increasing attention from researchers and engineers in recent decades. In this paper, we present a comprehensive survey of cooperation issues, one of the key components of UMRS, from the perspective of the emergence of new functions. More specifically, we categorize the cooperation in terms of task-space, motion-space, measurement-space, as well as their combination. Further, we analyze the architecture of UMRS from three aspects, i.e., the performance of the individual underwater robot, the new functions of underwater robots, and the technical approaches of MRS. To conclude, we have discussed related promising directions for future research. This survey provides valuable insight into the reasonable utilization of UMRS to attain diverse underwater tasks in complex ocean application scenarios.
, Available online
Abstract:
In recent decades, intelligent transportation systems have improved drivers' safety and have shared information (such as traffic congestion and accidents) in a very efficient way. However, the privacy of vehicles and security of event information is a major concern, and blockchain technology has raised hopes that the problem of secure sharing of event information without compromising the trusted third party (TTP) and data storage issue can be resolved. Dwivedi et al. presented a blockchain-based protocol for secure sharing of events and authentication of vehicles. With the rigorous analysis of their protocol, it is found that only for secure storing of event information, they utilize the blockchain technology and authentication of vehicles solely depends on the cloud server. As a result, their scheme utilizes the notion of partially decentralized architecture. This article first shows the various loopholes of the blockchain-based event sharing protocol proposed by the Dwivedi et al. Then we propose a novel decentralized architecture for the vehicular ad-hoc network (VANET) without the cloud server, and based on it, the protocol for secure sharing of event information and vehicle's authentication using the blockchain mechanism has been proposed where the registered user access the event information securely from interplanetary file system (IPFS). We incorporate the IPFS, along with blockchain for storing the information in a fully distributed manner. Furthermore, the proposed protocol is compared with existing protocols, and the comparison provides desirable security at a reasonable cost. The evaluation of the proposed smart contract in terms of its associated cost is also presented in this paper.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1003955
Abstract:
Generalized eigenvector plays an essential role in the signal processing field. In this paper, we present a novel neural network learning algorithm for estimating the generalized eigenvector of a Hermitian matrix pencil. Differently from some traditional algorithms, which need to select the proper values of learning rates before using, the proposed algorithm does not need a learning rate and is very suitable for real applications. Through analyzing all of the equilibrium points, it is proven that if and only if the weight vector of the neural network is equal to the generalized eigenvector corresponding to the largest generalized eigenvalue of a Hermitian matrix pencil, the proposed algorithm reaches to convergence status. By using the deterministic discrete- time method, some convergence conditions, which can be satisfied with probability 1, are also obtained to guarantee its convergence. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm has a fast convergence speed and good numerical stability. The real application demonstrates its effectiveness in tracking the optimal vector of beamforming.
, Available online
Abstract:
Recently, video object segmentation has received great attention in the computer vision community. Most of the existing methods heavily rely on the pixel-wise human annotations, which are expensive and time-consuming to obtain. To tackle this problem, we make an early attempt to achieve video object segmentation with scribble-level supervision, which can alleviate large amounts of human labor for collecting the manual annotation. However, using conventional network architectures and learning objective functions under this scenario cannot work well as the supervision information is highly sparse and incomplete. To address this issue, this paper introduces two novel elements to learn the video object segmentation model. The first one is the scribble attention module, which captures more accurate context information and learns an effective attention map to enhance the contrast between foreground and background. The other one is the scribble-supervised loss, which can optimize the unlabeled pixels and dynamically correct inaccurate segmented areas during the training stage. To evaluate the proposed method, we implement experiments on two video object segmentation benchmark datasets, YouTube-VOS, and DAVIS-2017. We first generate the scribble annotations from the original per-pixel annotations. Then, we train our model and compare its test performance with the baseline models and other existing works. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed method can work effectively and approach to the methods requiring the dense per-pixel annotations.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1004003
Abstract:
The concept of sharing of personal health data over cloud storage in a healthcare-cyber physical system has become popular in recent times as it improves access quality. The privacy of health data can only be preserved by keeping it in an encrypted form, but it affects usability and flexibility in terms of effective search. Attribute-based searchable encryption (ABSE) has proven its worth by providing fine-grained searching capabilities in the shared cloud storage. However, it is not practical to apply this scheme to the devices with limited resources and storage capacity because a typical ABSE involves serious computations. In a healthcare cloud-based cyber-physical system (CCPS), the data is often collected by resource-constraint devices; therefore, here also, we cannot directly apply ABSE schemes. In the proposed work, the inherent computational cost of the ABSE scheme is managed by executing the computationally intensive tasks of a typical ABSE scheme on the blockchain network. Thus, it makes the proposed scheme suitable for online storage and retrieval of personal health data in a typical CCPS. With the assistance of blockchain technology, the proposed scheme offers two main benefits. First, it is free from a trusted authority, which makes it genuinely decentralized and free from a single point of failure. Second, it is computationally efficient because the computational load is now distributed among the consensus nodes in the blockchain network. Specifically, the task of initializing the system, which is considered the most computationally intensive, and the task of partial search token generation, which is considered as the most frequent operation, is now the responsibility of the consensus nodes. This eliminates the need of the trusted authority and reduces the burden of data users, respectively. Further, in comparison to existing decentralized fine-grained searchable encryption schemes, the proposed scheme has achieved a significant reduction in storage and computational cost for the secret key associated with users. It has been verified both theoretically and practically in the performance analysis section.
, Available online
Abstract:
Remaining useful life (RUL) estimation approaches on the basis of the degradation data have been greatly developed, and significant advances have been witnessed. Establishing an applicable degradation model of the system is the foundation and key to accurately estimating its remaining useful life. Most current researches focus on age-dependent degradation models, but it has been found that some degradation processes in engineering are also related to the degradation states themselves. In addition, due to different working conditions and complex environments in engineering, the problems of the unit-to-unit variability in the degradation process of the same batch of systems and actual degradation states cannot be directly observed will affect the estimation accuracy of the remaining useful life. In order to solve the above issues jointly, we develop an age-dependent and state-dependent nonlinear degradation model taking into consideration the unit-to-unit variability and hidden degradation states. Then, the Kalman filter (KF) is utilized to update the hidden degradation states in real time, and the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm is applied to adaptively estimate the unknown model parameters. Besides, the approximate analytical remaining useful life distribution can be obtained from the concept of the first hitting time. Once the new observation is available, the remaining useful life distribution can be updated adaptively on the basis of the updated degradation states and model parameters. The effectiveness and accuracy of the proposed approach are shown by a numerical simulation and case studies for Li-ion batteries and rolling element bearings.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2021.1003907
Abstract:
Visual localization is a crucial component in the application of mobile robot and autonomous driving. Image retrieval is an efficient and effective technique in image-based localization methods. Due to the drastic variability of environmental conditions, e.g., illumination changes, retrieval-based visual localization is severely affected and becomes a challenging problem. In this work, a general architecture is first formulated probabilistically to extract domain-invariant features through multi-domain image translation. Then, a novel gradient-weighted similarity activation mapping loss (Grad-SAM) is incorporated for finer localization with high accuracy. We also propose a new adaptive triplet loss to boost the metric learning of the embedding in a self-supervised manner. The final coarse-to-fine image retrieval pipeline is implemented as the sequential combination of models with and without Grad-SAM loss. Extensive experiments have been conducted to validate the effectiveness of the proposed approach on the CMU-Seasons dataset. The strong generalization ability of our approach is verified with the RobotCar dataset using models pre-trained on urban parts of the CMU-Seasons dataset. Our performance is on par with or even outperforms the state-of-the-art image-based localization baselines in medium or high precision, especially under challenging environments with illumination variance, vegetation, and night-time images. Moreover, real-site experiments have been conducted to validate the efficiency and effectiveness of the coarse-to-fine strategy for localization.
, Available online
Abstract:
Process discovery, as one of the most challenging process analysis techniques, aims to uncover business process models from event logs. Many process discovery approaches were invented in the past twenty years; however, most of them have difficulties in handling multi-instance sub-processes. To address this challenge, we first introduce a Multi-instance Business Process Model (MBPM) to support the modeling of processes with multiple sub-process instantiations. Formal semantics of MBPMs are precisely defined by using Multi-instance Petri Nets (MPNs) that are an extension of Petri nets with distinguishable tokens. Then, a novel process discovery technique is developed to support the discovery of MBPMs from event logs with sub-process multiinstantiation information. In addition, we propose to measure the quality of the discovered MBPMs against the input event logs by transforming an MBPM to a classical Petri net such that existing quality metrics, e.g., fitness and precision, can be used. The proposed discovery approach is properly implemented as plugins in the ProM toolkit. Based on a cloud resource management case study, we compare our approach with the state-of-the-art process discovery techniques. The results demonstrate that our approach outperforms existing approaches to discover process models with multi-instance sub-processes.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2020.1003596
Abstract:
This paper considers the human-in-the-loop leader-following consensus control problem of multi-agent systems (MASs) with unknown matched nonlinear functions and actuator faults. It is assumed that a human operator controls the MASs via sending the command signal to a non-autonomous leader which generates the desired trajectory. Moreover, the leader’s input is nonzero and not available to all followers. By using neural networks and fault estimators to approximate unknown nonlinear dynamics and identify the actuator faults, respectively, the neighborhood observer-based neural fault-tolerant controller with dynamic coupling gains is designed. It is proved that the state of each follower can synchronize with the leader’s state under a directed graph and all signals in the closed-loop system are guaranteed to be cooperatively uniformly ultimately bounded. Finally, simulation results are presented for verifying the effectiveness of the proposed control method.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2020.1003447
Abstract:
To improve the energy efficiency of a direct expansion air conditioning (DX A/C) system while guaranteeing occupancy comfort, a hierarchical controller for a DX A/C system with uncertain parameters is proposed. The control strategy consists of an open loop optimization controller and a closed-loop guaranteed cost periodically intermittent-switch controller (GCPISC). The error dynamics system of the closed-loop control is modelled based on the GCPISC principle. The difference, compared to the previous DX A/C system control methods, is that the controller designed in this paper performs control at discrete times. For the ease of designing the controller, a series of matrix inequalities are derived to be the sufficient conditions of the lower-layer closed-loop GCPISC controller. In this way, the DX A/C system output is derived to follow the optimal references obtained through the upper-layer open loop controller in exponential time, and the energy efficiency of the system is improved. Moreover, a static optimization problem is addressed for obtaining an optimal GCPISC law to ensure a minimum upper bound on the DX A/C system performance considering energy efficiency and output tracking error. The advantages of the designed hierarchical controller for a DX A/C system with uncertain parameters are demonstrated through some simulation results.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2020.1003411
Abstract:
Necessary and sufficient conditions for the exact controllability and exact observability of a descriptor infinite dimensional system are obtained in the sense of distributional solution. These general results are used to examine the exact controllability and exact observability of the Dzektser equation in the theory of seepage and the exact controllability of wave equation.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2020.1003408
Abstract:
A classic kind of researches about the operational safety criterion for dynamic systems with barrier function can be roughly summarized as functional relationship, denoted by \begin{document}$\oplus$\end{document}, between the barrier function and its first derivative for time \begin{document}$t$\end{document}, where \begin{document}$\oplus$\end{document} can be “=”, “\begin{document}$\langle$\end{document}”, or “\begin{document}$\rangle$\end{document}”, et al. This article draws on the form of the stable condition expression for finite time stability to formulate a novel kind of relaxed safety judgement criteria called exponential-alpha safety criteria. Moreover, we initially explore to use the control barrier function under exponential-alpha safety criteria to achieve the control for the dynamic system operational safety. In addition, derived from the actual process systems, we propose multi-hypersphere methods which are used to construct barrier functions and improved them for three types of special spatial relationships between the safe state set and the unsafe state set, where both of them can be spatially divide into multiple subsets. And the effectiveness of the proposed safety criteria are demonstrated by simulation examples.
, Available online
Abstract:
An optimal control strategy of winner-take-all (WTA) model is proposed for target tracking and cooperative competition of multi-UAVs. In this model, firstly, based on the artificial potential field method, the artificial potential field function is improved and the fuzzy control decision is designed to realize the trajectory tracking of dynamic targets. Secondly, according to the finite-time convergence high-order differentiator, a double closed-loop UAV speed tracking controller is designed to realize the speed control and tracking of the target tracking trajectory. Numerical simulation results show that the designed speed tracking controller has the advantages of fast tracking, high precision, strong stability and avoiding chattering. Finally, a cooperative competition scheme of multiple UAVs based on WTA is designed to find the minimum control energy from multiple UAVs and realize the optimal control strategy. Theoretical analysis and numerical simulation results show that the model has the fast convergence, high control accuracy, strong stability and good robustness.
, Available online  , doi: 10.1109/JAS.2019.1911801
Abstract:
Random vector functional link networks (RVFL) is a class of single hidden layer neural networks based on a learner paradigm by which some parameters are randomly selected and contains more information due to the direct links between inputs and outputs. In this paper, combining the advantages of RVFL and the ideas of online sequential extreme learning machine (OS-ELM) and initial-training-free online extreme learning machine (ITF-OELM), a novel online learning algorithm which is named as initial-training-free online random vector functional link (ITF-ORVFL) is investigated for training RVFL. Because the idea of ITF-ORVFL comes from OS-ELM and ITF-OELM, the link vector of RVFL can be analytically determined based on sequentially arriving data by ITF-ORVFL with a high learning speed. Besides a novel variable is added to the update formulae of ITF-ORVFL, and the stability for nonlinear systems based on this learning algorithm is guaranteed. The experiment results indicate that the proposed ITF-ORVFL is effective in estimating nonparametric uncertainty.
, Available online
Abstract:
This paper investigates PID control design for a class of planar nonlinear uncertain systems in the presence of actuator saturation. Based on the bounds on the growth rates of the nonlinear uncertain function in the system model, the system is placed in a linear differential inclusion. Each vertex system of the linear differential inclusion is a linear system subject to actuator saturation. By placing the saturated PID control into a convex hull formed by the PID controller and an auxiliary linear feedback law, we establish conditions under which an ellipsoid is contractively invariant and hence is an estimate of the domain of attraction of the equilibrium point of the closed-loop system. The equilibrium point corresponds to the desired set point for the system output. Thus, the location of the equilibrium point and the size of the domain of attraction determine, respectively, the set point that the output can achieve and the range of initial conditions from which this set point can be reached. Based on these conditions, the feasible set points can be determined and the design of the PID control law that stabilizes the nonlinear uncertain system at a feasible set point with a large domain of attraction can then be formulated and solved as a constrained optimization problem with constraints in the form of linear matrix inequalities (LMIs). Application of the proposed design to a magnetic suspension system illustrates the design process and the performance of the resulting PID control law.

IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica

• JCR Impact Factor 2020: 6.171
Rank：Top 11% (7/93), Category of Automation & Control Systems
Quantile: The 1st (SCI Q1)
CiteScore 2020 : 11.2
Rank： Top 5% (Category of Computer Science: Information System) , Top 6% (Category of Control and Systems Engineering), Top 7% (Category of Artificial Intelligence)
Quantile: The 1st (Q1)