Low-complexity piecewise-affine virtual sensors: Theory and design

Matteo Rubagotti, Tomaso Poggi, Alberto Oliveri, Carlo Alberto Pascucci, Alberto Bemporad, Marco Storace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is focused on the theoretical development and the hardware implementation of low-complexity piecewise-affine direct virtual sensors for the estimation of unmeasured variables of interest of nonlinear systems. The direct virtual sensor is designed directly from measured inputs and outputs of the system and does not require a dynamical model. The proposed approach allows one to design estimators which mitigate the effect of the so-called curse of dimensionality of simplicial piecewise-affine functions, and can be therefore applied to relatively high-order systems, enjoying convergence and optimality properties. An automatic toolchain is also presented to generate the VHDL code describing the digital circuit implementing the virtual sensor, starting from the set of measured input and output data. The proposed methodology is applied to generate an FPGA implementation of the virtual sensor for the estimation of vehicle lateral velocity, using a hardware-in-the-loop setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-632
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Control
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 4 2014


  • digital circuits
  • nonlinear observers
  • piecewise-affine functions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications

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