Convex estimation of the α-confidence reachable sets of systems with parametric uncertainty
Authors: Patrick Holmes, Shreyas Kousik, Shankar Mohan, Ram Vasudevan
Accurately modeling and verifying the correct operation of systems interacting in dynamic environments is challenging. By leveraging parametric uncertainty within the model description, one can relax the requirement to describe exactly the interactions with the environment; however, one must still guarantee that the model, despite uncertainty, behaves acceptably. This paper presents a convex optimization method to efficiently compute the set of configurations of a polynomial dynamical system that are able to safely reach a user defined target set despite parametric uncertainty in the model. Since planning in the presence of uncertainty can lead to undesirable conservatives, this paper computes those trajectories of the uncertain nonlinear systems which are α-probable of reaching the desired configuration. The presented approach uses the notion of occupation measures to describe the evolution of trajectories of a nonlinear system with parametric uncertainty as a linear equation over measures whose supports coincide with the trajectories under investigation. This linear equation is approximated with vanishing conservatism using a hierarchy of semidefinite programs each of which is proven to compute an approximation to the set of initial conditions that are α-probable of reaching the user defined target set safely in spite of uncertainty. The efficacy of this method is illustrated on four systems with parametric uncertainty.