2013 ACC ADRC Workshop - Why ADRC? PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 21 February 2013 19:49












Why ADRC? 

In control theory, disturbance rejection is one of many competing control design objectives, including command following, robust stability, noise sensitivity, etc.; in practice, however, it is often THE design objective that is front and center in the mind of design engineers. This workshop provides a forum for students, researchers and practitioners to share insights on how the control problems in a particular domain of applications are reduced to their essence, i.e., disturbance rejection, and what tools are available at our disposal to solve these problems. Through the exposition of various concepts, methods, and solutions of engineering problems, this workshop provides the audience with a comprehensive understanding of what’s unique about the concept of Active Disturbance Rejection Control (ADRC)? What characterizes the ADRC Technology (its pros and cons)? And to what end future lies, in expanding the edge of technology, in continuous regeneration of fresh ideas and in further development of theoretical foundations? Through this discussion we hope that participants will be able to make seamless the integration of the ADRC concepts and the domain knowledge and skills of a particular engineering branch. It is through such integration that users of ADRC will be able to take advantage of it freely in solving the pressing problems of today.

Most attendees of past American Control Conferences probably have never heard of Active Disturbance Rejection Control (ADRC), nor have they ever seen a workshop, a conference session, or books devoted to the subject. But perhaps they should, as this proposed workshop will attempt to show. In the last few years, ADRC has been the subject of short courses at top universities in China, and of invited sessions and workshops at conferences such as the Chinese Control Conference and the World Congress of Intelligent Control and Automation. In China, ADRC as a potential solution has been explored in almost all domains of control engineering [1]. In the U.S., ADRC algorithm was recently deployed at a Parker Hannifin Extrusion Plant in North America, resulting in over 50% energy saving per line [2,3] across ten production lines; Texas Instruments, an industry giant, has licensed the ADRC technology in anticipation of a massive rollout of a new generation of control chips within which the ADRC algorithms are embedded [4]. There have been numerous reports in industry journals and newspapers about this technology and the university spinoff associated with it [4-10].

The idea of ADRC is very intuitive: it single mindedly focuses on disturbance rejection as the central task and the “active” part comes from mitigating the disturbance before it runs its course. It is highly likely that whether an ACC attendee is from academia, government labs, or industry, he or she will equally find the subject of ADRC fascinating, if only for the reason that it all started with an obscure idea from the 1820s France when J.V. Poncelet wrote in his book that the control of steam engine could be greatly improved if the disturbance force is measured and counteracted BEFORE the engine speed deviates. No one paid much attention to it for over a hundred years, before it was rediscovered and revived by a scholar, G.V. Shipanov, in the Soviet Union in 1930s, who in turn got into trouble with the authority on the ideological ground. The story then took a surprising turn when a Chinese scholar, J. Han, rekindled the idea in the 1990s China and formally introduced the concept of ADRC [11-16], which was further articulated and simplified by Z. Gao [17-21]. In recent years, ADRC inspired ground-breaking developments in many areas of engineering practice (see, for example [22-31]) and captured the imaginations of American entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, in an effort to bring it to the market [4-10]. The engineering success in turn led to numerous theoretical investigations [32-39] and the discovery of the fact that many previous ideas [40-48] that are scattered over time and isolated by its domain of application can now be unified in a single framework, with their equivalence or similarities laid bare.

The following introductory and survey papers can be used as the starting point for interested readers.


[1]     Y.Huang,W.Xue and C.Zhao, “Active Disturbance Rejection Control Methodology And Theoretical Analysis”, Journal of System Science and Mathematical Science, Vol. 31, No. 9, 2011, pp. 1111–1129. (in Chinese)

[2]     Q. Zheng and Z. Gao, “An Energy Saving, Factory-Validated Disturbance Decoupling Control Design for Extrusion Processes”, Proceedings of the 2012 World Congress on Intelligent Control and Automation, pp. 2891-2896, Beijing, July 6-8, 2012.

[3]     Ohioepolymer News, “LineStream Technologies: Advanced Control, Made Simple”, Accessed on Oct.1st, 2012 at http://www.polymerohio.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=352:linestream-technologies-advanced-control-made-simple&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=61 

[4]     “LineStream Technologies signs licensing deal with Texas Instruments”, The Plain Dealer, July 12th, 2011,

[5]     “LineStream Technologies’ $5M Investment Timed Perfectly”, Crain's Cleveland Business, March 25th, 2012

[6]     “Control Freaks”, Inside Business Magazine, November/December Issue, 2011.

[7]     “Look Ahead”, Cutting Tool Engineering, pp. 86, January, 2009

[8]      “A New Industrial Revolution?”, Front page, Business Section, The Plain Dealer, Sept. 2nd, 2008.

[9]     “Say you want a machine control revolution?”, Industry Week, October, 2008.

[10]   “First CSU commercialization effort helps manufacturers fine-tune machinery”, Crain's Cleveland Business, August 25, 2008.

[11]  J. Han, “Control theory or model theory?”, Systems Science and  Mathematical Sciences, Vol.9, No.4, pp.328-335, 1989.(In Chinese)

[12]  J. Han, “A Class of Extended State Observers for Uncertain Systems”, Control and Decision, Vol.10, No.1, pp.85-88, 1995.(In Chinese)

[13]  J. Han, “Active disturbance rejection controller and its applications”, Control and Decision,Vol. 13, No. 1, 1998, pp. 19–23. (in Chinese)

[14]  J. Han, “Robustness of Control System and the Godel’s Incomplete Theorem”,  Control Theory and Its Applications, 16(suppl.), 149-155, 1999.(In Chinese)

[15]  J. Han, Active Disturbance Rejection Control Technique, Beijing: National Defense Industry Press, 2008 (In Chinese)

[16]  J. Han, “From PID to Active Disturbance Rejection Control”, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, .Vol. 56, Issue 3, pp. 900-906, 2009.

[17]  Z. Gao, Y. Huang, and J. Han, An Alternative Paradigm for Control System Design”, Proceedings of the 40th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, Vol. 5, 4578 – 4585, Orlando, Dec 4-7, 2001.

[18]  Z. Gao. “Scaling and bandwidth-parameterization based controller tuning”. Proc. of the 2003 American Control Conference, 2003, pp. 4989–4996.

[19]  Z. Gao, “Active Disturbance Rejection Control: A Paradigm Shift in Feedback Control System Design”, Proc. of the 2006 American Control Conference, Minneapolis, June 14-16, 2006.

[20]  G. Tian and Z. Gao, “From Poncelet’s Invariance Principle to Active Disturbance Rejection Control”, Proceedings of 2009 American Control Conference.

[21]  Z. Gao, “The Disturbance Rejection Paradigm in Control Engineering”, Proceedings of 2010 Chinese Control Conference (in Chinese).

[22]  D. Wu and K. Chen, “Design and analysis of precision active distur­bance rejection control for noncircular turning process”, IEEE Trans. on Industrial Electronics,Vol. 56, No. 7, 2009, pp. 2746–2753.

[23]  J. Vincent, D. Morris, N. Usher, Z. Gao and S. Zhao, “On active disturbance rejection based control design for superconducting RF cavities”. Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research, Vol. 643, Issue 1, 2011, pp. 11–16.

[24]  Y. Huang, K. Xu , J. Han and J. Lam, “Flight control design using extended state observer and non-smooth feedback”, Proc. of the 2001 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, vol. 1, 2001, pp. 223–228.

[25]  M. Sun, Z. Chen and Z. Yuan, “A Practical Solution to Some Problems in Flight Control”, 48th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, 2009, pp. 1482–1487.

[26]  C. Zhao and Y. Huang, “ADRC based integrated guidance and control scheme”, Journal of Systems Science and Mathematical Sciences,Vol. 30, No. 6, 2010, pp. 742–751. (in Chinese)

[27]  Y. Hou, Z. Gao, and F. Jiang, B. T. Boulter, “Active Disturbance Rejection Control for Web Tension Regulation”. Proc. of the 2001 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, Vol. 5, 2001, pp. 4974– 4979.

[28]  Y. Huang, Z. Luo, M. Svinin, T. Odashima and S. Hosoe, ”Extended state observer based technique for control of robot systems”, in Proc. of the 4th World Congress on Intelligent Control and Automation, Vol. 4, 2002, pp. 2807-2811.

[29]  G. Feng,Y. Liu, and L. Huang, ”A New Robust Algorithm to Improve the Dynamic Performance on the Speed Control of Induction Motor Drive”, IEEE Tran. Power Electronics,Vol. 19, No. 6, 2004, pp. 1614­1627.

[30]  D. Wu, K. Chen and X. Wang, ”Tracking control and active distur­bance rejection with application to noncircular machining”, International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture, Vol. 47, Issue 15, 2007, pp. 2207-2217.

[31]  B. Yan, Z. Tian, S. Shi and Z. Weng, ”Fault diagnosis for a class of nonlinear systems via ESO”, ISA Transactions,Vol. 47, No, 4, 2008, pp. 386-394.

[32]  Q. Zheng, L. Q. Gao, and Z. Gao, ”On Stability Analysis of Active Disturbance Rejection Control for Nonlinear Time-Varying Plants with Unknown Dynamics”, Proc. of the 46th IEEE Conference on Decision and control, 2007, pp. 3501-3506.

[33]  X. Yang and Y. Huang, ”Capability of extended state observer for estimating uncertainties”, Proc. of the 2009 American Control Conference , 2009, pp. 3700-3705.

[34]  B. Guo and Z. Zhao. “On the convergence of an extended state observer for nonlinear systems with uncertainty”. Systems & Control Letters, Vol. 60, 2011, pp. 420-430.

[35]  L. Praly and Z.P. Jiang, ” Further results on robust semiglobal stabilization with dynamic input uncertainties”, Proc. of the 37th IEEE Conf. Decision Control, Vol. 1, 1998, pp. 891-896.

[36]  W. Xue, On Theoretical Analysis of Active Disturbance Rejection Control, Doctoral Thesis, Beijing: Academy of Mathematics and System science, 2012. (In Chinese)

[37]  Y. Huang and J. Han. “Analysis and design for nonlinear continuous extended state observer”. Chinese Bulletin, Vol. 45, No. 21, 2000, pp. 1938–1944.

[38]  G. Tian and Z. Gao, ”FrequencyResponse Analysis of Active Distur­bance Rejection Based Control System”, Proceedings of the 16th IEEE International Conference on Control Applications Part of IEEE Multi-conference on Systems and Control, 2007, pp. 1595–1599.

[39]  L. B. Freidovich and H. K. Khalil, “Performance recovery of feedback-linearization based designs”. IEEE Trans. Automat. Contr.,Vol. 53, No. 10, 2008, pp. 2324–2334.

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[44]  R. Bickel and M. Tomizuka, ``Passivity-based versus disturbance observer based robot control: equivalence and stability," ASME J. Dyn. Syst., Meas., Control, vol. 121, pp. 41-47, 1999.

[45]  E. Schrijver and J. van Dijk,``Disturbance observers for rigid mechanical systems: Equivalence, stability, and design," Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, vol. 124, no. 4, pp. 539-548, 2002.

[46]  Y. Choi, K. Yang, W. K. Chung, H. R. Kim, and I. H. Suh, ``On the robustness and performance of disturbance observers for second-order systems," IEEE Trans. on Automatic Control, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 315-320, 2003.

[47]  E. Canuto, L. Massotti and A. Molano “Drag-free control of the GOCE satellite: noise and observer design, IEEE Trans. on Control Systems Technology, Vol. 18, pp. 501- 509, 2010

[48]  E. Canuto “Embedded Model Control: outline of the theory”, ISA Transactions, Vol. 46 (3), pp. 363- 377.

[49] Y.C. Ho, “Is It Application or Is It Experimental Science?”, Editorial, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Vol. AC-27, No. 6, pp.1142, December 1982.

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