Value of Information in Feedback Control: Quantification
Authors : Touraj Soleymani, John S. Baras, and Sandra Hirche
Journal : IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control Vol. 67, No. 7, pp. 3730-3737, July 2022
Although transmission of a data packet containing sensory information in a networked control system improves the quality of regulation, it has indeed a price from the communication perspective. It is, therefore, rational that such a data packet be transmitted only if it is valuable in the sense of a cost-benefit analysis. Yet, the fact is that little is known so far about this valuation of information and its connection with traditional event-triggered communication. In the present article, we study this intrinsic property of networked control systems by formulating a rate-regulation trade-off between the packet rate and the regulation cost with an event trigger and a controller as two distributed decision makers, and show that the valuation of information is conceivable and quantifiable grounded on this trade-off. In particular, we characterize
an equilibrium in the rate-regulation trade-off, and quantify the value of information VoIk there as the variation in a so-called value function with respect to a piece of sensory information that can be communicated to the controller at each time k. We prove that, for a multi-dimensional Gauss–Markov process, VoIk is a symmetric function of the discrepancy between the state estimates at the event trigger and the controller, and that a data packet containing sensory information at time k should be transmitted to the controller only if VoIk is nonnegative. Moreover, we discuss that VoIk can be computed with arbitrary accuracy, and that it can be approximated by a closed-form quadratic function with a performance guarantee.