NOLCOS 2016, 10th IFAC Symposium on Nonlinear Control Systems

Marriott Hotel Monterey, California, USA. August 23-25, 2016

Every three years the International Federation for Automatic Control (IFAC) has organized a Nonlinear Control System Symposium (NOLCOS). They have been held in Capri (I) 1988, Bordeaux (F) 1992, Lake Tahoe (USA) 1995, Enschede (NL) 1998, Saint Petersburg (RUS) 2001, Stuttgart (DE) 2004, Pretoria (ZA) 2007, Bologna (IT) 2010, and Toulouse (FR) 2013.

The 10th NOLCOS will be held in beautiful Monterey, CA, USA.

The scope of these symposia are the theory and applications of nonlinear control systems. With advances in science, technology and computing these topics have grown in importance. NOLCOS is acknowledged as the major international gathering of leading experts in the field of nonlinear control from industry and academia.

NOLCOS in Monterey aims at strengthening worldwide contacts between academia and industry to build up new networks and cultivate existing relations. High-level speakers will present the global spectrum of nonlinear control systems, state-of-the-art applications and developing directions. NOLCOS 2016 is also meant as a forum for young scientists from all over the world. They will be given the opportunity to introduce their research ambitions and scientific work to an audience of international experts.

The Monterey Peninsula is an internationally known tourist destination famous for its beautiful scenery, mild climate and excellent restaurants. It is within easy driving distance to Silicon Valley, the world center of high-tech, and several universities including Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and the Naval Postgraduate School.

Important Dates

Opening paper submission
September 15, 2015
Deadline for paper submission
February 1, 2016
Deadline for invited session proposal submission
January 25, 2016
Authors Notified of Acceptance/rejection
April 15, 2016
Deadline for final manuscript submission
May 25, 2016
Deadline for early registration
June 10, 2016
Meet the Conference Committee


The online registration of NOLCOS 2016 is now open at the following link:

Full registrations include the privilege to upload up to two final papers. Student registrants may upload one final paper. An accepted paper will be included in the proceedings (IFAC-PapersOnLine) only if it is presented during the conference. Moreover, a paper will be included in the conference program for presentation only if it has been accepted and the final version has been uploaded without substantial modification.

All registrations include welcome reception, coffee breaks, and conference banquet. Additional conference banquet tickets can be purchased with registration. The closing reception will be held at the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium on Thursday evening, August 25, from 7 to 9 pm after it has been closed to the general public. Mathworks, the developer of Matlab and Simulink, has generously donated funds to cover the cost of admission to the Aquarium for all conference registrants and their accompanying persons. There will be food and beverage stations at various locations in the Aquarium and we are requesting a fee of $30 per Aquarium visitor to defray these costs and to get an accurate head count for the event. 

Participants who need an invitation letter for their visa application should contact the conference secretary:

If you have already registered but want to obtain additional tickets to the Night at the Aquarium, you can do so by logging into your online registration account using the same PIN.

Conference Registration Rates and Fees

Registration fee includes welcome and farewell receptions, conference dinner banquet, coffee breaks, and one set of the conference proceedings on a USB drive.

Category Early Registration Late Registration
Regular $600 $675
Student* $350 $400
Banquet Ticket $85 $85
*You may be required to provide evidence of full-time student status

International Program Committee

  • Wei Kang, Chair and Treasurer - US
  • Frank Allgower - DE
  • David Angeli - UK
  • Murat Arcak - US
  • Alessandro Astolfi - UK
  • Ravi Banavar - IN
  • Andrzej Banaszuk - US
  • Jean-Pierre Barbot - FR
  • Ruth Bars - HU
  • Tamer Başar - US
  • John Burns - US
  • Ben Chen - SG
  • Panagiotis Christofides - US
  • Peter Dower - AU
  • Fariba Fahroo - US
  • Rolf Findeisen - DE
  • Alexander Fradkov - RU
  • Helene Frankowska - FR
  • Lars Gruene - DE
  • Martin Guay - CA
  • Andrew Teel, Co-Chair and Editor - US
  • Daniel Hernandez - MX
  • Yiguang Hong - CN
  • Jie Huang - HK
  • Alberto Isidori - IT
  • Hiroshi Ito - JP
  • Zhong-Ping Jiang - US
  • Chris Kellett - AU
  • Ilya Kolmanowsky - US
  • Costas Kravaris - GR
  • Miroslav Krstic - US
  • Andreas Kugi - AT
  • Alexander Kurzhanskiy - RU
  • Mircea Lazar - NL
  • Kwang Y. Lee - US
  • Andrew Lewis - CA
  • Daniel Liberzon - US
  • Wei Lin - US
  • Manfredi Maggiore - CA
  • Lorenzo Marconi - IT
  • Nazareth Bedrossian, Industrial Vice-Chair - US
  • Laura Menini - IT
  • Dragan Nesic - AU
  • Yizhar Or - IL
  • Christophe Prieur - FR
  • Nicanor Quijano - CO
  • Diana Rubio - AR
  • Jacquelien Scherpen - NL
  • Rudolphe Sepulchre - UK
  • Andrea Serrani - US
  • Hyungbo Shim - KR
  • Houria B. Siguerdidjane - FR
  • Shanjian Tang - CN
  • Alexander M. Tarasyev - RU
  • Arjan Van der Schaft - NL
  • Richard Vinter - UK
  • Xiaohua Xia - ZA
  • Yaprak Yalçın - TR
  • Luca Zaccarian - IT
  • Kurt Schlacher - AT

National Program Committee

Arthur Krener, Chair - US, Sinan Karahan, Industrial Vice-Chair - US, Jorge Cortes - US, Michael Demetriou - US, Scott Erwin - US, Qi Gong - US, John Hauser - US, Zongli Lin - US, William McEneaney - US, Igor Mezic - US, Ricardo Sanfelice - US, Ralph Smith - US, MingQing Xiao - US

Plenary Speakers

Plenary Lectures

Murat Arcak, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Title: Networks of Dissipative Systems: Compositional Certification of Stability, Performance, and Safety
Abstract and Biography

Alessandro Astolfi, Imperial College London, UK
Title: Moments of Nonlinear Systems: From Model Reduction to Identification and Circuits Theory
Abstract and Biography

John A. Burns, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA
Title: Physics Based Modeling for Design and Control of Thermal-Fluid Systems
Abstract and Biography

Fariba Fahroo, DARPA, USA
Title: Computational Nonlinear Control Theory: A Path Forward for Meeting the Real World Challenges
Abstract and Biography

Semi-Plenary Lectures

Jorge Cortes, University of California, San Diego, USA
Title: Asymptotic Stability of Saddle-point Dynamics and Its Role in Network Coordination
Abstract and Biography

Warren Dixon, University of Florida, USA
Title: Cybernetic Cycling: A Nonlinear Switched Systems Approach to Facilitate Neurological Rehabilitation
Abstract and Biography

Thor I. Fossen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Title: Nonlinear Observer Design for GNSS- and Camera-Aided Strapdown Inertial Navigation Systems
Abstract and Biography

Xiaohua Xia, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Title: Control Problems in Building Energy Retrofit and Maintenance Planning
Abstract and Biography

Plenary Lectures

Murat Arcak, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Title: Networks of Dissipative Systems: Compositional Certification of Stability, Performance, and Safety

Abstract: Existing computational tools for control synthesis and verification do not scale well to today's large scale, networked systems.  Recent advances, such as sum of squares relaxations for polynomial nonnegativity, have made it possible to numerically search for Lyapunov functions, to estimate regions of attraction, and to certify measures of performance; however, these procedures are applicable only to problems of modest size.

In this talk we address networks where the subsystems are amenable to standard analytical and computational methods but the interconnection, taken as a whole, is beyond the reach of these methods. To break up the task of certifying network properties into subproblems of manageable size, we make use of dissipativity properties that serve as abstractions of the detailed dynamical models of the subsystems. We combine these abstractions to derive network level stability, performance, and safety guarantees in a compositional fashion. This approach is particularly powerful when one exploits the structure of the interconnection and identifies subsystem dissipativity properties favored by the type of interconnection.  We exhibit several such interconnections that are of practical importance. The talk also emphasizes computational tools, such as semidefinite programming and distributed optimization, that assist us in applications of this compositional approach. Finally, we demonstrate how exploiting symmetries in the interconnection structure enables significant computational savings.

Biography: Murat Arcak is a professor at U.C. Berkeley in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department.He received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey (1996) and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1997 and 2000). His research is in dynamical systems and control theory with applications to synthetic biology, multi-agent systems, and transportation. He received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2003, the Donald P. Eckman Award from the American Automatic Control Council in 2006, the Control and Systems Theory Prize from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) in 2007, and the Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize from the IEEE Control Systems Society in 2014. He is a member of SIAM and a fellow of IEEE.

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Alessandro Astolfi, Imperial College London, UK
Title: Moments of Nonlinear Systems: From Model Reduction to Identification and Circuits Theory

Abstract: The notion of moment for linear systems is generalized to nonlinear, possibly time-delay, systems and to general classes of signal generators (i.e. interpolation points). It is shown that this notion provides a powerful tool for the solution of model reduction problems, for the identification of reduced order model from input-output data and for the analysis of power electronic circuits. In particular, it is shown that moments yield a generalization of the so-called phasor transform to circuits with power electronics components.

Biography: Alessandro Astolfi was born in Rome, Italy, in 1967. He graduated in electrical engineering "cum laude" from the University of Rome in 1991. In 1992 he joined ETH-Zurich where he obtained a M.Sc. in Information Theory in 1995 and the Ph.D. degree with Medal of Honor in 1995 with a thesis on discontinuous stabilization of nonholonomic systems. In 1996 he was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Rome "La Sapienza" for his work on nonlinear robust control. Since 1996 he has been with the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department of Imperial College London, London (UK), where he is currently Professor in Nonlinear Control Theory and Head of the Control and Power Group. From 1998 to 2003 he was also an Associate Professor at the Dept. of Electronics and Information of the Politecnico of Milano. Since 2005 he has also been a Professor at Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Ingegneria Informatica, University of Rome Tor Vergata. He has been a visiting lecturer in "Nonlinear Control" in several universities, including ETH-Zurich (1995-1996); Terza University of Rome (1996); Rice University, Houston (1999); Kepler University, Linz (2000); SUPELEC, Paris (2001). His research interests are focused on mathematical control theory and control applications, with special emphasis for the problems of discontinuous stabilization, robust and adaptive control, game theory, observer design and model reduction. He is the author of more than 120 journal papers, of 30 book chapters and of over 240 papers in refereed conference proceedings. He is the recipient of the IEEE CSS A. Ruberti Young Researcher Prize (2007) and of the IEEE CSS George S. Axelby Outstanding Paper Award (2012). He is a "Distinguished Member" of the IEEE CSS. He is the author (with D. Karagiannis and R. Ortega) of the monograph "Nonlinear and Adaptive Control with Applications" (Springer-Verlag). He is Associate Editor of Automatica, the International Journal of Control and Area Editor for the International Journal of Adaptive Control and SignalProcessing. He is Senior Editor of the IEEE Trans. on Automatic Control and Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Control. He has also served in the IPC of various international conferences. He is currently the Chair of the IEEE CSS Conference Editorial Board.

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John A. Burns, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA
Title: Physics Based Modeling for Design and Control of Thermal-Fluid Systems

Abstract: In this presentation we discuss several modeling and computational issues involved with control of thermal-fluid systems. The problems are motivated by applications to the design and operation of aircraft environmental control systems (ECS) and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for buildings. These systems are typical of many of todays complex multi-physics, data-driven, uncertain physical systems arise in a wide variety of modern engineered systems. Physics based modeling produces mathematical models that are interconnected systems of ordinary and partial differential equations, empirical maps and table look-ups. It is important to keep in mind that if any one of the system’s components is infinite dimensional, then the composite system is infinite dimensional and should be treated as a distributed parameter control system.

Although such systems arise naturally when the problem is multidisciplinary (e.g., aeroelasticity, thermal-fluids) and often requires connecting different types of mathematical equations through boundary conditions, similar issues arise when actuator dynamics are included in the control model. We present examples to highlight some technical issues that occur when dealing with interconnected systems and then focus on a special class of composite systems that occur when actuator dynamics are included as part of the model. Finally, we suggest some new application areas that offer enormous opportunities for researchers interested in distributed parameter control.

Biography: John A. Burns is the Hatcher Professor of Mathematics at Virginia Tech and Technical Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Mathmatics. He received his B.S.E. and M.S.E. degrees in Mathematics from Arkansas State University (1967 and 1968) and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics from the University of Oklahoma (1970 and 1973). He spent a year as a Research Postdoc Fellow in the Lefschetz Center for Dynamical Systems at Brown University (1973). He has served on more than 12 editorial boards and he was the founding Editor of the SIAM Book Series on Advances in Design and Control. He served as Vice President of SIAM, is the past Chair of the SIAM Activity Group on Systems and Control and is a Fellow of the IEEE and SIAM. In 2012 he was awarded the W.T. and Idalia Reid Prize in Mathematics for his fundamental contributions in computational methods for and applications in control, design and optimization of infinite dimensional dynamical systems. Dr. Burns primary interests concern the development of rigorous and practical computational algorithms for control, optimization and design of complex engineering systems.

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Fariba Fahroo, DARPA, USA
Title: Computational Nonlinear Control Theory: A Path Forward for Meeting the Real World Challenges

Abstract: High performance complex systems prevalent in real world applications demand more powerful computational tools and new rigorous methodologies that could deal with the underlying high-dimensional, nonlinear, multi-layered nature of these systems. For control and design of these systems, existing methodologies fail to accomplish the dual tasks of providing rigor within a computational-based approach. These frameworks are either focused on large-scale simulations without foundations on establishing errors and performance bounds or they are focused on rigorous analysis of much simplified systems that are not representative of the complex systems of interest. To overcome these deficiencies, the new trends in computational control theory based on development of scalable, accurate algorithms for the controlled systems could take the lead in solving some of our outstanding problems such as flow control, control of large networks, design and control of electric power grids and control of swarms among others. In this talk, some of the challenges and approaches will be addressed.

Biography: Fariba Fahroo has joined DARPA Defense Science Office (DSO) since 2014 as a Math program manager. Her prior position has been with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research where she was a program officer for Math programs in Dynamics and Control, Computational Mathematics and Optimization and Discrete Math. While at AFOSR, she initiated and managed basic research programs in various areas of computational math and control theory such as multiscale modeling and computation, uncertainty quantification, design under uncertainty, distributed, multi-agent control and estimation and computational control theory.

Prior to her position at AFOSR, she was a professor of Applied Mathematics at the Naval Postgraduate School. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Math from Brown University, a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mathematics and Physics from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests span control and design of distributed parameter systems and computational methods in control and uncertainty quantification. She is a senior member of IEEE, Associate Fellow of AIAA and is the Chair of the SIAM Control and Systems Theory Activity Group.

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Semi-Plenary Lectures

Jorge Cortes, University of California, San Diego, USA
Title: Asymptotic Stability of Saddle-point Dynamics and Its Role in Network Coordination

Abstract: Primal-dual algorithms are saddle-point dynamics for determining the primal and dual solutions of (in)equality constrained convex optimization problems. These dynamics are used to solve problems in multiple scenarios, including network resource allocation in wireless systems, stabilization and optimization in power networks, and distributed learning in games. The specific structure of saddle-point dynamics make them particularly well-suited for solving in a distributed way networked optimization problems that involve aggregate objective functions with constraints that can be expressed locally. In this talk, we examine various conditions under which the set of saddle points is asymptotically stable under the saddle-point dynamics of a continuously differentiable function. Our convergence results are based on different properties of the function such as convexity-concavity, its behavior along the proximal normals to the set of saddle points, and its linearity in one argument. We illustrate our discussion with examples from distributed optimization, network bargaining, and zero-sum games.

Biography: Jorge Cortes is a Professor with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. He received the Licenciatura degree in mathematics from the Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain, in 1997, and the Ph.D. degree in engineering mathematics from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain, in 2001. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Twente, The Netherlands, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. He was an Assistant Professor with the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at the University of California, Santa Cruz from 2004 to 2007. He is the author of "Geometric, Control and Numerical Aspects of Nonholonomic Systems" (New York: Springer-Verlag, 2002) and co-author of "Distributed Control of Robotic Networks" (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009).

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Warren Dixon, University of Florida, USA
Title: Cybernetic Cycling: A Nonlinear Switched Systems Approach to Facilitate Neurological Rehabilitation

Abstract: Application of an electric field across skeletal muscle causes muscle contractions that produce limb movement. Closed-loop computer controlled stimulation of the muscles yields a cybernetic system where a person’s limbs can be tasked to follow a desired trajectory or force profile. Motivation for such a cybernetic system includes advanced rehabilitative outcomes (i.e., neuroplasticity and restoration of function) for individuals with neurological disorders. A challenge to developing these outcomes is that muscle activation dynamics are uncertain and nonlinear, and the dynamics of limb motion also require the coordinated switching among multiple muscle groups. Moreover, artificial stimulation of the muscle is highly inefficient, leading to rapid muscle fatigue, which can limit the therapeutic outcomes. This talk focuses on how perspectives from and advances in robotics / automation / control systems can be used to overcome these challenges. Underlying theories and experimental results for various closed-loop electrical stimulation methods will be described including recent advances in cybernetic cycling where a robotic bicycle is combined with an electrically stimulated person to facilitate various rehabilitative objectives.

Biography: Warren Dixon received his Ph.D. in 2000 from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from Clemson University. He was selected as an Eugene P. Wigner Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In 2004, he joined the University of Florida in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, where he currently holds the Newton C. Ebaugh Professorship. His main research interest has been the development and application of Lyapunov-based control techniques for uncertain nonlinear systems. He has published 3 books, an edited collection, 12 chapters, and over 100 journal and 200 conference papers. His work has been recognized by the 2015 & 2009 American Automatic Control Council (AACC) O. Hugo Schuck (Best Paper) Award, the 2013 Fred Ellersick Award for Best Overall MILCOM Paper, a 2012-2013 University of Florida College of Engineering Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring Award, the 2011 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Dynamics Systems and Control Division Outstanding Young Investigator Award, the 2006 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Early Academic Career Award, an NSF CAREER Award (2006-2011), the 2004 Department of Energy Outstanding Mentor Award, and the 2001 ORNL Early Career Award for Engineering Achievement. He is an IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS) Distinguished Lecturer and is an IEEE Fellow for contributions to adaptive control of uncertain nonlinear systems.

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Thor I. Fossen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Title: Nonlinear Observer Design for GNSS- and Camera-Aided Strapdown Inertial Navigation Systems

Abstract: The navigation system is one of the key components when designing modern guidance, navigation and control (GNC) systems. Navigation is usually defined as the task of determining an object’s position, velocity and attitude (PVA) based on various types of information. For decades the Kalman filter (KF), and nonlinear extensions thereof, has been used to provide integrated navigation solutions based on different types of measurements. One disadvantage of the KF is its relatively high computational complexity, with the number of internal states growing quadratically with the number of actual estimates. Another disadvantage is that the KF is developed for linear systems and stability can be difficult or impossible to prove for nonlinear extensions such as the extended Kalman filter (EKF). Consequently, there is a growing interest in the design of nonlinear observers for strapdown inertial navigation systems (INS), which can provide explicit stability guarantees and reduced computational complexity. In recent years there has been a breakthrough in the development of low-cost inertial measurement units (IMUs) based on micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) technology. The IMU is the key component of a strapdown INS and nonlinear observer theory makes it possible to develop highly effective navigation. Applications are low-cost consumer electronics, cars, navigation systems for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), ships, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) etc.

In this talk, a globally exponentially stable (GES) observer for attitude and gyro bias estimation is presented. The attitude observer uses gyro measurements and two or more pairs of vector measurements, typically body-fixed acceleration and magnetic field measurements. Velocity estimates from optical flow camera measurements can also be used. The attitude observer avoids the well-known topological obstructions to global stability by not confining the attitude estimate to SO(3), but rather estimating a full rotation matrix with nine degrees of freedom. A quaternion-based representation for effective implementation, which guarantees semiglobal exponential stability, is also presented. Next, a translational motion observer (TMO) for estimation of position and linear velocity is presented. The attitude and TMO observers form a feedback interconnection, which is analyzed using Lyapunov theory. Explicit stability requirements for GES are given. The nonlinear observer can be implemented using IMU, magnetometer and GNSS measurements. Extensions to camera-based navigation are also discussed. Low-cost integrated navigation systems using nonlinear observer theory is an emerging technology for autonomous vehicles operating in uncertain and harsh environments. The presentation focuses on the theory of nonlinear observers, stability properties and experimental validation of the methods using experimental data obtained from fixed-wing UAV experiments.

Biography: Thor I. Fossen is a naval architect and a cyberneticist. He received an MSc degree in Marine Technology in 1987 and a PhD degree in Engineering Cybernetics in 1991 both from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim. He has been a Fulbright scholar in flight control at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the University of Washington, Seattle in 1989/1990 and he was appointed professor of guidance, navigation and control at NTNU at age 30. Fossen has been elected to the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences (1998) and elevated to IEEE Fellow (2016). He is teaching mathematical modeling of aircraft, marine craft, unmanned vehicles and control theory. Fossen has authored five textbooks. He is one of the co-founders of the DNV-GL company Marine Cybernetics where he was Vice President R&D in the period 2002-2008. He is currently the co-director of the Centre for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (AMOS) at NTNU. Fossen's expertise covers guidance, navigation, nonlinear control theory, unmanned vehicles, autonomous and intelligent systems, hydrodynamics, ship control systems and nonlinear observers for strapdown inertial navigation systems. He received the Automatica Prize Paper Award in 2002 and Arch T. Colwell Merit Award in 2008 at the SAE World Congress.

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Xiaohua Xia, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Title: Control Problems in Building Energy Retrofit and Maintenance Planning

Abstract: This paper presents a series of control problems in prioritizing building energy retrofit and maintenance plans through a review of our studies. The building energy retrofits can be strategically performed on policy level, building energy management level, building energy system level and unit level. Based on existing research efforts, this study casts the optimal building maintenance planing problem into a general control system framework. Unlike traditional control applications, this study argues that the control system framework is also applicable to the building energy management level, which will significantly improve the sustainability of realized energy savings and cost-effectiveness of building energy retrofits. In a general control framework, a number of research problems in the control systems are systematically formulated, namely 1) control system decay dynamics modeling; 2) control system inputs and model uncertainties; 3) control system outputs; 4) control system uncertainties and disturbances; 5) control system algorithm; and 6) grouping and modeling. The proposed control problems bring out the intrinsic relationship of reliability engineering, maintenance engineering and control engineering in the broad directions of energy efficiency and optimization. Investigations into the proposed control problems will contribute to further improvements in the building energy retrofit and maintenance plans than the currently prevailing engineering practice.

Biography: Xiaohua Xia obtained his PhD degree at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beijing, China, in 1989. He stayed at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow in May 1994 and for two years, followed by two short visits to Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France and National University of Singapore during 1996 and 1997, respectively, both as a post-doctoral fellow. He joined the University of Pretoria, South Africa, since 1998, and became a full professor in 2000. He also held a number of visiting positions, as an invited professor at IRCCYN, Nantes, France, in 2001, 2004 and 2005, as a guest professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, and as a Cheung Kong chair professor at Wuhan University, China. He is an IEEE fellow, served as the South African IEEE Section/Control Chapter Chair, as the chair of the Technical Committee of Non-linear Systems, as a member of the Technical Board (both of IFAC). He is an A-rated scientist by the National Research Foundation of South Africa, an elected fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering, and an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He has been an Associate Editor of Automatica, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II, and the Specialist Editor (Control) of the SAIEE Africa Research Journal. His research interests include: non-linear feedback control, observer design, time-delay systems, hybrid systems, modelling and control of HIV/AIDS, control and handling of heavy-haul trains and energy modelling and optimisation. He is a registered professional engineering by the Engineering Council of South Africa, and a certified measurement and verification professional by the American Association of Energy Engineers. He is the director of both the Centre of New Energy Systems at the University of Pretoria and the National Hub for the Postgraduate Programme in Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management. He is an elected board member of measurement and verification council of South Africa (MVCSA) since 2014. He is the founding director of Onga Energy Efficiency and Management Pty Ltd - the first SANAS accredited M&V Company against ISO 17020 and he is invited as a technical assessor for the South African National Accreditation Systems (SANAS) for M&V inspection bodies in South Africa.

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Authors and Paper Submission

Submit a Paper through PaperPlaza

Papers must be submitted through the conference submission website PaperPlaza and should be prepared in accordance with the IFAC-Elsevier style (See IFAC Information for Authors).

Paper Guidelines and Requirements

The conference program will include contributed sessions, invited sessions, and plenary sessions. For the purpose of review only, all manuscripts may be up to eight (8) pages long, in 2-column format. However, the length for the final manuscript is limited to six (6) pages. Acceptable file format is PDF.

The manuscript should clearly indicate the merits of the new contributions, the relevance to the topics and areas of NOLCOS 2016 and related literature to allow a fair reviewing procedure by the International Program Committee. Only unpublished material may be submitted (See Copyright Notice below).

Invited sessions consist of six papers presenting a unifying theme from a diversity of viewpoints. Proposals for invited sessions must contain a Summary Statement describing the motivation and relevance of the proposed session as well as short descriptions of the component papers. Invited sessions proposals have to be accompanied by full versions of the six invited papers (abstracts of invited papers will not be accepted). These component papers have to be submitted separately by the respective authors. Please be advised that the individual authors of an invited session cannot submit their papers before the submission of the proposal. After the proposal is submitted, the organizer will receive a Session Code that is automatically issued by the system. The organizer should then distribute the Session Code to the authors of the invited session papers. Individual authors of the invited session papers should submit their papers through PaperPlaza using the appropriate Session Code they received from the organizer.

To ensure the continuity of the program and that papers addressing similar issues are grouped together, at the discretion of International Program Committee, individual papers may be removed from a proposed session and replaced by appropriate contributed papers. Likewise, selected papers from rejected invited sessions may be placed into the regular program.

Copyright notice

All publication material submitted for presentation at an IFAC-sponsored meeting (Congress, Symposium, Conference, Workshop) must be original and hence cannot be already published, nor can it be under review elsewhere. The authors take responsibility for the material that has been submitted. IFAC-sponsored conferences will abide by the highest standard of ethical behavior in the review process as explained on the Elsevier webpage, and the authors will abide by the IFAC publication ethics guidelines.

Accepted papers that have been presented at an IFAC meeting will be published in the proceedings of the event using the open-access IFAC-PapersOnLine series hosted on ScienceDirect. To this end, the author(s) must confer the copyright to IFAC when they submit the final version of the paper through the paper submission process. The author(s) retain the right to use a copy of the paper for personal use, internal institutional use at the author(s)’ institution, or scholarly posting at an open web site operated by the author(s) or their institution, limited to noncommercial use. Any other use of the paper requires approval by IFAC.

Technical Program

NOLCOS 2016 online program now available

Social Program

Welcome Reception

The welcome reception will be held on Monday, August 22, 18:00-20:00 in Ferrantes Bayview Room on the top floor of Monterey Marriott Hotel.

Conference Banquet

The conference banquet will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 19:00-21:00, in San Carlos 2-3.

Night at the Aquarium Sponsored by MathWorks

The closing reception will be held at the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium on Thursday evening, August 25, from 7 to 9 pm after it has been closed to the general public. Mathworks, the developer of Matlab and Simulink, has generously donated funds to cover the cost of admission to the Aquarium for all conference registrants and their accompanying persons. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has been acclaimed as the finest one in the US. Visitors will have exclusive strolling access to all the exhibits without the hordes of families that are usually there on a summer day. The Aquarium is a pleasant one mile walk from the conference hotel along the Recreation Trail through Cannery Row. There also will be buses shuttling back and forth between the hotel and the Aquarium from 6:30pm until 9:30pm. We believe that this Night at the Aquarium made possible by Mathworks will make NOLCOS 2016 a truly memorable conference.

In addition to the social event, Dr. Giampiero Campa, Mathworks senior technical evangelist, will give a presentation in the session on Computational Issues in Nonlinear Control.

Giampiero Campa, Mathworks
Title: Nonlinear Control: from theory to practice

Abstract: The first part of this talk will provide examples of challenging nonlinear control problems where MATLAB and Simulink were used to design and deploy control systems. Applications in the robotics, aerospace and defense, and automotive industries will be mentioned. Several challenging projects in academia (including one from students) will also be shown. Some new MATLAB and Simulink tools which are particularly useful for addressing nonlinear control challenges will be presented next. Such tools include algorithms and blocks for adaptive model predictive control, automatic tuning of gain scheduled controllers, and online parameter identification.  Finally, other innovations available for teaching and research will also be briefly mentioned in the last part of the presentation.

NOLCOS 2016 Topics and Area Chairs

  • Hybrid Systems - Ricardo Sanfelice
  • Mathematical Theory, Stability and Stabilization of Nonlinear Systems - Zhong-Ping Jiang
  • Modeling and identification of nonlinear systems - Kurt Schlacher
  • Networked Nonlinear Systems - Dragan Nesic
  • Nonlinear control of vehicular and robotic systems - Andrea Serrani
  • Nonlinear Systems Feedback Design Methods and Problems - Alessandro Astolfi
  • Nonlinear Systems Observation and Observers - Jean-Pierre Barbot
  • Nonlinear Systems Optimal Control - Qi Gong
  • Optimization-based Control and Applications - Lars Grüne
  • Invited Session Proposals and Invited Papers - Luca Zaccarian

Hotel and Conference Venue

NOLCOS 2016 will be held at the Monterey Marriott Hotel, 350 Calle Principal, Monterey, CA 93940, US. This is a luxurious hotel in downtown Monterey a block from Fisherman’s Wharf and a mile from the Aquarium.

The conference organizers have reserved a limited block of rooms from Monday night, Aug. 22 to Thursday night, Aug 25 at the very attractive rate of $126/night plus taxes and fees, single or double occupancy. Please reserve early to obtain this rate at:

The hotel is also offering this rate before and after the conference from Aug. 21 to Aug. 29 on a space available basis. Again, reserve early.


The Monterey Peninsula is an internationally known tourist destination famous for its beautiful scenery, mild climate and excellent restaurants. Monterey was the original capital of Alta California in both the Mexican and American periods. There are numerous adobes from the Mexican era. The Marriott is one block from Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf and less than a mile from Steinbeck’s Cannery Row and the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Nearby is Pacific Grove, “America’s Last Hometown”, with beautiful walks along its rugged coastline. About five miles away is Carmel by the Sea, a small village of European charm filled with restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. Nearby Pebble Beach is famous for its beautiful houses and world-class golf courses. There are several excellent surf sports nearby. About twenty-five miles away is the rugged Big Sur coast with crashing waves and towering redwoods. So bring your surfboard and golf clubs and come to NOLCOS 2016.

Traveling to Monterey

Venue: Monterey Marriot

The conference will be held at the Marriott Hotel, 350 Calle Principal, in the center of Monterey. The Marriott’s conference and sleeping rooms are excellent and the organizers have negotiated a very attractive room rate of $126/night plus taxes for either a single or double room. This rate will also hold for up to three additional days after the conference on a space available basis.


The closest airport is Monterey (MRY) but there are only a few flights to/from this airport and they tend to be more expensive. San Jose Airport (SJC), 75 miles from Monterey, and San Francisco Airport (SFO), 115 miles from Monterey, are convenient alternatives. One can rent a car or take the Monterey Airbus.


From Monterey Airport take a cab to the Monterey Marriott Hotel.

From San Francisco and San Jose Airports the easiest way is to take the Monterey Airbus. Schedules and reservations can be found at The terminal stop in Monterey is one block from the Marriott.

If you rent a car take Hwy 101 south from either San Francisco or San Jose airports. Then change to CA-156 west in Prunedale. Then merge onto CA-1 south. Take exit 402b, "Pacific Grove, Del Monte Ave." (Please note there are two earlier exits that are named in part "Del Monte Ave." that you should not take.) Follow Del Monte Ave to Calle Principal, turn left and the Marriott is on your right side.