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Abstract

The concept of block relative gain (BRG) is introduced to define a measure of interaction for decentralized control structures. This new theoretical development generalizes the original Bristol's relative gain array (RGA) to block pairing of inputs and outputs that are not necessarily single-input single-output pairings. Various properties of BRG are rigorously derived and formulated in a mathematical framework suited to analysis and synthesis. Based on these important properties, a methodology is developed for the systematic generation and selective screening of alternative decentralized control structures. Subsequently, a controller design procedure for the most promising decentralized structures is given. A boiler furnace and a system of heat-integrated reactors are used to illustrate the significance and the utility of the proposed method for industrial processes.