Can stability analysis be really simplified? (revisiting Lyapunov, Barbalat, LaSalle and all that)

  • Itzhak Barkana
  • January 2017, American Institute of Physics
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.4972609

What is it about?

Even though Lyapunov approach is the most commonly used method for stability analysis, its use has been hindered by the realization that in most applications the so-called Lyapunov derivative is at most negative semidefinite and not negative definite as desired. Many different approaches have been used in an attempt to overcome these difficulties. Until recently, the most widely accepted stability analysis has been based on Barbalat’s Lemma which seems to require uniform continuity of practically all signals involved. Recently, stability analysis methods for nonautonomous nonlinear systems have been revisited. Even though new developments based on unknown works of LaSalle attempted to mitigate these continuity conditions, counterexamples are suggested to contradict these results. New analysis shows that these counterexamples, which are making use of well-known mathematical expressions, are actually using them beyond their domain of validity. Therefore, the restrictive condition of uniform continuity required by Barbalat’s Lemma and even the milder conditions required by LaSalle’s extension of the Invariance Principle to nonautonomous systems can be further mitigated. A new Invariance Principle only required that bounded trajectories cannot pass an infinite distance in finite time. Finally, a new Theorem of Stability, which is formulated as a direct extension and a generalization of Lyapunov’s Theorem, not only simplifies the stability analysis of nonlinear systems, but also leads to conclusive results about the system under analysis.

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