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Trends in software and tools for optimal and predictive control

Video recordings:
Date: June 27th 2022, 15h30 - 17h20 (CEST)
Location: Zoom; no registration is required; Link:; Webinar-ID: 981 5139 7340; Passcode: 735867

  • Timm Faulwasser, TU Dortmund, Germany;
  • Thulasi Mylvaganam, Imperial College London, UK;


Time (CEST) Title and Speaker  
15h30 Welcome  
15h35 A software framework for nonlinear model predictive control on embedded hardware (GRAMPC)
Knut Graichen, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
16h25 Exponential Decay of Sensitivity in Graph-Structured Nonlinear Programs
Victor Zavala, University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA

Speaker: Knut Graichen (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany)

Title: A software framework for nonlinear model predictive control on embedded hardware (GRAMPC)


Model predictive control (MPC) nowadays is an established control method with significant advances over the last decade, for instance, concerning computational efficiency. Nevertheless, the application of MPC to fast systems with sampling times in the range of (sub-)milliseconds and weak computational hardware such as lean embedded automotive ECUs remains a challenge to this day.

The talk presents the MPC toolbox GRAMPC that is based on an augmented Lagrangian framework for continuous time nonlinear systems that was developed with the focus on real-time feasibility, minimal computational requirements and portability to embedded platforms with limited resources. The talk gives an introduction to the methodological background and applicability of GRAMPC and demonstrates its performance in comparison with state-of-the-art MPC solvers as well as for relevant industrial applications. The talk also outlines some recent extensions of GRAMPC, e.g. for networked systems.

Speaker: Victor Zavala (University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA)

Title: Exponential Decay of Sensitivity in Graph-Structured Nonlinear Programs

We study solution sensitivity for nonlinear programs (NLPs) whose structures are induced by graphs. These NLPs arise in many applications such as dynamic optimization, stochastic optimization, optimization with partial differential equations, and network optimization. We show that for a given pair of nodes, the sensitivity of the primal-dual solution at one node against a data perturbation at the other node decays exponentially with respect to the distance between these two nodes on the graph. In other words, the solution sensitivity decays exponentially as one moves away from the perturbation point. This result, which we call exponential decay of sensitivity, holds under fairly standard assumptions: the strong second-order sufficiency condition and the linear independence constraint qualification. We discuss how this property provides new and interesting insights on the behavior of complex systems and how it enables the design of new and scalable decomposition algorithms.

This is the fourth event of the Virtual Seminar series of the IFAC TC on Optimal Control. The series consists of two events per year, with each event dedicated to a specific area within optimal control and in­clu­ding talks by distinguished mem­bers of our community, as well as discussion sessions.

For further details please contact 

  • Thulasi Mylvaganam, Imperial College London, UK;
  • Timm Faulwasser, TU Dort­mund, Germany;


Past seminars

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Site Map of TU Dort­mund University (Second Page in English)