Convex, Monotone Systems are Optimally Operated at Steady-State

M. G. Schmitt, C. Ramesh, P. J. Goulart and J. Lygeros

in American Control Conference, Seattle, WA, USA, May 2017.

  author = {M. G. Schmitt and C. Ramesh and P. J. Goulart and J. Lygeros},
  title = {Convex, Monotone Systems are Optimally Operated at Steady-State},
  booktitle = {American Control Conference},
  year = {2017}

We consider a special class of monotone systems for which the system equations are also convex in both the state and the input. For such systems, we study optimal infinite horizon operation, with respect to an objective function that is also monotone and convex. The main results states that, under some technical assumptions, these systems are optimally operated at steady state, i.e. there does not exist a trajectory over an infinite horizon that outperforms stabilizing the system in the optimal equilibrium. We draw a connection to recent results on dissipative systems in the context of Economic Model Predictive Control, where systems that are optimally operated at steady state have already been studied. Finally, we apply the main result to a problem in traffic control, where we are able to disprove the existence of improving periodic trajectories involving the alternation of congestion and free flow for freeway ramp metering.