Seminars‎ > ‎

A Journey Through Data-rate Theorems for Communication and Control

Massimo Franceschetti 


Date: March 14, 2012

Time: 4-5 PM

Place: Faraday room 67-124, ENGR. IV


In this talk, we address the problem of mean-square stabilization of a discrete-time linear dynamical system where the estimated state is transmitted for control over a digital communication channel. This arises in several emerging applications including remote robot control, automated highway navigation using wireless sensor systems, and automatic control for pursuit evasion games.

In this context, a data-rate theorem refers to the minimum information rate required to guarantee the stability of the system over a given communication channel. Loosely speaking, it states that the information rate to be supported by the channel must be large enough compared to the unstable modes of the system, so that it can compensate for the expansion of the state during the communication process.

Since its first rigorous formulation about a decade ago, and driven by technological advancements of embedded systems for control, there has been a growing interest in stating a data rate theorem for the most general communication model.

We will review a series of contributions by different groups (including ours), sketching mathematical arguments based on a blend of information-theoretic and control-theoretic tools. We will also try to draw a connection between results in control and some recent advancements in feedback communication and will conclude mentioning some open problems in the field.


Massimo Franceschetti is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of California, San Diego.  He graduated from Universita' di Napoli Federico II and then took MS and PhD degrees at Caltech. He was then a post-doc at UC Berkeley for two years, and has been a frequent visitor of the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam.

He wrote a book Random Networks for Communication together with Ronald Meester. There were book reviews on MathSciNet, Journal of Statistical Physics and in the Journal of Applied Statistics.

He is affiliated with the Center for Information Theory and Applications (ITA), Center for Wireless Communication (CWC) and California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technologies (CalIT2).