Automated synthesis and composition of taskblocks for control of manufacturing systems

Lawrence E. Holloway, Xiaoyi Guan, Ranganathan Sundaravadivelu, Jeff Ashley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Automated control synthesis methods for discrete-event systems promise to reduce the time required to develop, debug, and modify control software. Such methods must be able to translate high-level control goals into detailed sequences of actuation and sensing signals. In this paper, we present such a technique. It relies on analysis of a system model, defined as a set of interacting components, each represented as a form of condition system Petri net. Control logic modules, called taskblocks, are synthesized from these individual models. These then interact hierarchically and sequentially to drive the system through specified control goals. The resulting controller is automatically converted to executable control code. The paper concludes with a discussion of a set of software tools developed to demonstrate the techniques on a small manufacturing system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-712
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received July 16, 1999; revised June 21, 2000. This work was supported in part by NSF Grant ECS-9807106, USARO Grant DAAH04-96-1-0399, Rockwell Science Center, and the Center for Manufacturing Systems at the University of Kentucky. This paper was recommended by Associate Editors M. A. Jafari and M. Zhou.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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