Article

Discrete Event Dynamic Systems

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 55-107

First online:

On the Computation of Observers in Discrete-Event Systems

  • K.C. WongAffiliated withSystems Control Group, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto
  • , W.M. WonhamAffiliated withSystems Control Group, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto

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Abstract

The concept of observer was introduced in previous work by the authors on a hierarchical control theory of discrete-event systems (DES). It was shown that the observer property of the “causal reporter” map, which in this theory models information flow in a hierarchical DES, plays a role in ensuring that a nonblocking supervisor at a given level of a hierarchy does not cause blocking in the level below. In this paper, we investigate the following problem: Given a causal reporter map that is not an observer, how can we design an observer by modifying this map? In case the latter is represented by a finite Mealy automaton, an effective computational algorithm is developed for computing an observer with the coarsest possible equivalence kernel that is finer than that of the given map. Three examples are provided for illustration.

discrete-event systems causal reporter maps natural projections observers