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Li, Bo, Ma, Yehan, Westenbroek, Tyler, Wu, Chengjie, Gonzalez, Humberto, Lu, Chenyang.  2016.  Wireless Routing and Control: A Cyber-physical Case Study. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems. :32:1–32:10.

Wireless sensor-actuator networks (WSANs) are being adopted in process industries because of their advantages in lowering deployment and maintenance costs. While there has been significant theoretical advancement in networked control design, only limited empirical results that combine control design with realistic WSAN standards exist. This paper presents a cyber-physical case study on a wireless process control system that integrates state-of-the-art network control design and a WSAN based on the WirelessHART standard. The case study systematically explores the interactions between wireless routing and control design in the process control plant. The network supports alternative routing strategies, including single-path source routing and multi-path graph routing. To mitigate the effect of data loss in the WSAN, the control design integrates an observer based on an Extended Kalman Filter with a model predictive controller and an actuator buffer of recent control inputs. We observe that sensing and actuation can have different levels of resilience to packet loss under this network control design. We then propose a flexible routing approach where the routing strategy for sensing and actuation can be configured separately. Finally, we show that an asymmetric routing configuration with different routing strategies for sensing and actuation can effectively improve control performance under significant packet loss. Our results highlight the importance of co-joining the design of wireless network protocols and control in wireless control systems.