Iterative Sequential Action Control for Stable, Model-Based Control of Nonlinear Systems

Emmanouil Tzorakoleftherakis*, Todd D. Murphey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper presents iterative sequential action control (iSAC), a receding horizon approach for control of nonlinear systems. The iSAC method has a closed-form open-loop solution, which is iteratively updated between time steps by introducing constant control values applied for short duration. Application of a contractive constraint on the cost is shown to lead to closed-loop asymptotic stability under mild assumptions. The effect of asymptotically decaying disturbances on system trajectories is also examined. To demonstrate the applicability of iSAC, we employ a variety of systems and conditions, including a 13-dimensional quaternion-based quadrotor and NASA's Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) spacecraft. Each system is tested in different scenarios, ranging from feasible and infeasible trajectory tracking to setpoint stabilization, with or without the presence of external disturbances. Finally, limitations of this paper are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8565883
Pages (from-to)3170-3183
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automatic Control
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Nonlinear control systems
  • optimal control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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