Toward an Optimal Control Theory for Hybrid Systems

Christos G. Cassandras


A modeling framework will be presented for a class of hybrid systems which arise in many manufacturing environments and related optimal control problems will be discussed. In this framework, discrete entities have a state characterized by a temporal component whose evolution is described by event-driven dynamics, and a physical component whose evolution is described by time-driven dynamics. As a first step towards developing an optimal control theory for such hybrid systems, a problem is formulated consisting of a single-stage manufacturing process. Using calculus of variations techniques, appropriately adapted to hybrid dynamics, it is possible to obtain structural properties and an explicit algorithm for deriving optimal policies solving this problem


Christos G. Cassandras received the B.S degree from Yale University in 1977, the M.S.E.E degree from Stanford University in 1978, and the S.M and Ph.D degrees from Harvard University in 1979 and 1982 respectively.

In 1981-1984, he was with ITP Boston, Inc., where he worked on control systems for computer-integrated manufacturing. In 1984 he joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, until 1996. He is currently Professor of Manufacturing Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University. His research interests include discrete event systems, stochastic optimization, computer simulation, and performance evaluation and control of computer networks and manufacturing systems. He is the author of over 100 technical publications in these areas, including a textbook.

Dr. Cassandras is on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Control Systems Society, and Editor for Technical Notes and Correspondence of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control. He serves on several other editorial boards and has guest-edited for various journals. He was awarded a Lilly Fellowship in 1991. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi, and a Fellow of IEEE.