Date of Award


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering


College of Information Technology and Engineering

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Yousef Sardahi, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Gang Chen

Third Advisor

Dr. Mehdi Esmaeilpour


Cascade Control systems are composed of inner and outer control loops. Compared to the traditional single feedback controls, the structure of cascade controls is more complex. As a result, the implementation of these control methods is costly because extra sensors are needed to measure the inner process states. On the other side, cascade control algorithms can significantly improve the controlled system performance if they are designed properly. For instance, cascade control strategies can act faster than single feedback methods to prevent undesired disturbances, which can drive the controlled system’s output away from its target value, from spreading through the process. As a result, cascade control techniques have received much attention recently. In this thesis, we present a multi-objective optimal design of linear cascade control systems using a multi-objective algorithm called the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II), which is one of the widely used algorithms in solving multi-objective optimization problems (MOPs). Two case studies have been considered. In the first case, a multi-objective optimal design of a cascade control system for an underactuated mechanical system consisting of a rotary servo motor, and a ball and beam is introduced. The setup parameters of the inner and outer control loops are tuned by the NSGA-II to achieve four objectives: 1) the closed-loop system should be robust against inevitable internal and outer disturbances, 2) the controlled system is insensitive to inescapable measurement noise affecting the feedback sensors, 3) the control signal driving the mechanical system is optimum, and 4) the dynamics of the inner closed-loop system has to be faster than that of the outer feedback system. By using the NSGAII algorithm, four design parameters and four conflicting objective functions are obtained. The second case study investigates a multi-objective optimal design of an aeroelastic cascade controller applied to an aircraft wing with a leading and trailing control surface. The dynamics of the actuators driving the control surfaces are considered in the design. Similarly, the NSGA-II is used to optimally adjust the parameters of the control algorithm. Ten design parameters and three conflicting objectives are considered in the design: the controlled system’s tracking error to an external gust load should be minimal, the actuators should be driven by minimum energy, and the dynamics of the closed-loop comprising the actuators and inner control algorithm should be faster than that of the aeroelastic structure and the outer control loop. Computer simulations show that the presented case studies may become the basis for multi-objective optimal design of multi-loop control systems.


Chemical process control.

Process control.

Feedback control systems.