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DOI: 10.1007/s11633-011-0572-6

with New Binary Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm

Muhammad Ilyas Menhas1 Ling Wang1 Min-Rui Fei1 Cheng-Xi Ma2

1

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Power-Station Automation Technology, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200072, PRC

2

East China Electric Power Design Institute, Shanghai 200063, PRC

Abstract: Coordinated controller tuning of the boiler turbine unit is a challenging task due to the nonlinear and coupling charac-

teristics of the system. In this paper, a new variant of binary particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm, called probability based

binary PSO (PBPSO), is presented to tune the parameters of a coordinated controller. The simulation results show that PBPSO can

effectively optimize the control parameters and achieves better control performance than those based on standard discrete binary PSO,

modified binary PSO, and standard continuous PSO.

Keywords: Coordinated control, boiler turbine unit, particle swarm optimization (PSO), probability based binary particle swarm

optimization (PBPSO), controller tuning.

(TITO) system. The two inputs are boiler firing rate and

Due to the rapid increase in the use of power for both governor valve position, and the two outputs are electri-

domestic and industrial needs, it is a challenge to meet cal power and throttle pressure. The corresponding control

power demand with the highest reliability and efficiency. system is called a coordinated control system (CCS).

At present, the power system industry is largely relying on A coordinated control system is a complex multi-

hydro and thermal stations. input multi-output (MIMO) system. Generally, multiple

The thermal power plants are among quick and compar- proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controllers in differ-

atively cheap peak load supporting power plants. A boiler ent action modes are used to design the CCS.

turbine unit is a common arrangement in thermal power The PID control was first introduced in the market in

plants to generate electricity, where a boiler is used to pro- 1939 and has remained the most widely used control strat-

duce steam that drives turbo generators to generate elec- egy in process control. The majority of literature reveals

tricity. The control system for the boiler-turbine unit needs that more than 90% of the controllers used in process in-

to meet the requirements such as those listed as follows: dustries are PID controllers and advanced versions of the

PID controller.

1) Output power must be able to follow the demand. The three-term PID controllers provide efficient solutions

2) Throttle pressure must withstand load variations. to the control problems[3,4] . The wide application of PID

control has enforced and sustained research to get best

3) Water level in the drum and steam temperature must out of PID and the search is on to find the next key

be maintained at desired levels to prevent overheating technology or methodology for PID tuning[5,6] .

of drums or flooding and to avoid wet steam from en- It is necessary to tune the controller to find optimal PID

tering turbines or overheating of superheaters due to parameters after a process system is upgraded or a new

the excess temperature. The fuel composition in the system is installed. The most famous classical auto tuning

combustion chamber must meet standards for safety methods include Ziegler-Nichols rules, Cohen Coon method,

and environment protection[1, 2] . and relay feedback methods[7,8] .

An MIMO system comprising nonlinear and coupled

The control of boiler turbine unit is a challenging task terms is more complex than an single-input single-output

due to coupling characteristics of the system and the pro- (SISO) system. The PID parameters tuning for such sys-

cess time delays. Although feed-water control, tempera- tems often involves trial and error methods. The trial and

ture control, and air control systems are not strongly cou- error methods are not only tedious but also rare to reach

pled and can be controlled separately. The throttle pres- the optimal parameters. In order to overcome such diffi-

sure and electric power are strongly coupled. Therefore, a culties in tuning controllers, recently, the trial and error

fully decentralized control cannot meet the stringent control methods have been replaced with many modern computer-

requirements, and it is necessary to incorporate a coordi- automated intelligent methods, such as artificial-neural-

nated controller in thermal power plants. Hence, the boiler networks, fuzzy-logic, and evolutionary computation[9,10] .

Manuscript received September 12, 2010; revised December 23, 2010 The modern intelligent methods can search optimal pa-

This work was supported by Projects of Shanghai Science rameters iteratively for a given objective function.

and Technology Community (No. 10ZR1411800, No. 08160705900,

No. 08160512100), Shanghai University the 11th Five-Year Plan,

The swarm intelligence-based and nature-inspired itera-

211 Construction Project, and Mechatronics Engineering Innovation tive search algorithms, like particle swarm optimization

Group Project from Shanghai Education Commission.

186 International Journal of Automation and Computing 8(2), May 2011

(PSO), ant colony optimization (ACO), and differential evo- score is called a fitness value. The member with the high-

lution (DE), and genetic algorithm (GA) have significantly est score is called global best. Each particle memorizes its

eased the task. However, some methods are easy to imple- previous best position. During the search process, if any

ment, while others are difficult. Moreover, the performance particle gets a higher fitness value, it updates its memory

of each method is not ideal for all applications. and discards the previous. The process is repeated until a

Bhatt et al.[11] used three different optimization algo- predefined termination criterion is reached. After any it-

rithms to identify optimal gains for controller devices in eration, all particles update their positions and velocities

two-area multi-unit automatic generation control problem to achieve better fitness value according to the following

and came up with craziness-PSO showing better perfor- equations:

mance over GA and hybrid PSO algorithms. Zhu et al.[12] k+1 k

verified that chaotic ant swarm (CAS) can outperform GA V(i,j) = w V(i,j) + c1 r1 (pk(i,j) xk(i,j) )+

k

in optimal PID controller design for an automatic voltage c2 r2 (g(1,j) xk(i,j) ) (1)

regulator (AVR) system.

PSO algorithm is an intelligent computational method

inspired by swarm intelligence and has been widely used in xk+1 k k+1

(i,j) = x(i,j) + V(i,j) (2)

real-world optimization problems[13] . where c1 and c2 are two acceleration coefficients, w is iner-

The PSO algorithm comprises very simple mathemat- tia weight, pk(i,j) is the previous best position in the history

ics and is computationally cheaper, but it performs well. k

of each particle at iteration k, g(i,j) is the best position as-

It has rapidly progressed over recent years and has many sociated with the best particle in the group at iteration k,

versions[13,14] . However, the standard PSO based on real and r1 , r2 [0, 1] are two random numbers.

numbers suffers from trapping into local optimum and pre-

mature convergence. The continuous PSO algorithm can- 2.2 Discrete binary (DBPSO) algorithm

not solve certain optimization problems.

In 1997, Kennedy and Eberhart introduced a discrete

In 1997, Kennedy and Eberkart[15] further extended the

version of the PSO. Their aim was to tackle combinatorial

PSO to discrete domain to tackle the combinatorial op-

optimization problems with this version of the PSO algo-

timization problems. The discrete version of PSO called

rithm. In DBPSO, particle positions are represented by

discrete binary PSO (DBPSO) uses binary numbers. The

binary bits of appropriate length. In DBPSO, velocity up-

binary PSO can handle binary, discrete, and certain con-

date equation (1) is used to update the pseudo-probability

tinuous problems effectively as the binary PSO can escape

of any bit of particle position, while the actual probability

from trapping into local optimum. The DBPSO algorithm

S [0, 1] is determined by a sigmoid function as

is more flexible and has extensive applications.

Shayeghi et al.[16] used an improved discrete PSO 1

S= . (3)

(DPSO) in static transmission network expansion planning (1 + exp(V ))

(STNEP) problem. Unler and Murat[17] used DBPSO for

Now, a comparison between S and a random number r

binary classification problem.

[0, 1] will determine a bit as

This paper is mainly focused on description of new prob-

(

ability based binary PSO (PBPSO) algorithm and its com- 1, if r 6 s

parative performance analysis in identifying controller gains x= (4)

0, else.

of coordinated controller of boiler turbine unit.

The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 describes the Kennedy and Eberhart successfully optimized some func-

proposed PBPSO algorithm and some variants of the exist- tions with the DBPSO algorithm. However, the optimiza-

ing binary PSO0 s. Section 3 presents the implementation tion performance of DBPSO was not satisfactory.

of PBPSO for CCS. Section 4 presents comparison results.

Finally, conclusions are drawn in Section 5. 2.3 Modified discrete binary PSO

(MBPSO) algorithm

2 PBPSO algorithm In 2004, Shen et al.[19] proposed a modified discrete bi-

nary PSO (MBPSO). In MBPSO, the updating formulas

2.1 PSO algorithm are given by the following equations:

PSO algorithm is a population-based heuristic search al- xij (old), if 0 6 vij 6 a

gorithm and belongs to the class of swarm intelligence based 1

xij (new) = pij , if a < vij 6 (1 + a) (5)

algorithms. The PSO was introduced by Kennedy and 2

g , 1

Eberhart[18] by simulating social behavior of birds in 1995. ij if (1 + a) < v ij 6 1.

It consists of a group of m particles. Each member of the 2

group is represented by position xij = [xi1 , , xid ] and MBPSO replaces all original equations of basic PSO and

velocity vij = [vi1 , , vid ] in a d-dimensional search space, gives entirely new updating formulas. In MBPSO, there

where x and v are vectors. The initial positions and veloc- are no acceleration coefficients or inertia weight. The ini-

ities are random from a normal population u [0, 1]. All tial position bits are determined randomly. The velocity

particles move in the search space to optimize an objective is constrained in the interval u [0, 1]. The update is per-

function f (x). Each member of the group gets a score ac- formed according to (5), where a is a predefined static prob-

cording to the level of accuracy in reaching the target. The ability fixed as a constant value in the range [0, 1], usually

M. I. Menhas et al. / Coordinated Controller Tuning of a Boiler Turbine Unit with 187

0.5. Here, a comparison between v(i, j) and a randomly particle, initial velocities of particles, initial positions of

produced value r [0, 1] determines the bit of the particle particles, bounds on velocity and the pseudo-probability,

position according to (5). and search boundaries.

For example, let us consider a swarm with m particles in

2.4 Probability based discrete binary PSO a d-dimensional search space, where each direction is repre-

algorithm sented by a binary bit either 0 or 1. The initial actual po-

The PBPSO algorithm is reworking on DBPSO algo- sition vector, initial velocity, and initial pseudo-probability

rithm. It is a hybrid approach that integrates the concept of associated with i-th particle can be given as

probability optimization and particle swarm optimization. Xb(i,d) = [xb(i,1) , xb(i,2) , , xb(i,d) ] (8)

The PBPSO algorithm differs from DBPSO as follows:

1) Both the velocity and position update rules in (1) and V(i,d) = [v(i,1) , v(i,2) , , v(i,d) ] = [0, 0, , 0] (9)

(2) of the continuous PSO algorithm are preserved.

gorithm is considered to update the pseudo-probability x(i,d) = [x(i,1) , x(i,2) , , x(i,d) ] = [0, 0, , 0] (10)

of the actual position bit.

where i = 1, , m is the index of the particle, and j =

3) The estimate of actual probability of a particle posi- 1, , d is the index of binary bit sequence or dimension.

tion bit x(i,j) to be 0 or 1 is determined using a new Step 2. Generating initial candidate solutions

linear estimator P , as shown below: In order to generate the initial Xb bits of the actual parti-

cle position vector, a random number r [0, 1] is generated

and compared with P as

x Xmin

P = (6) (

Xmax Xmin 1, if rand 6 P(i,j)

xb(i,j) = (11)

where x is the probability, and it is constrained in the in- 0, else.

terval [Xmin , Xmax ]; similarly, the velocity variable V is

constrained in the interval [Vmin , Vmax ] as in DBPSO. P is Because the initial value of x is 0, according to (3),

the actual probability and is confined in the interval [0, 1]. P = 0.5, the initial Xb bits have an equal probability to

Xmax and Xmin are two constants and Xmax = Xmin and be either 1 or 0.

Vmax = Vmin . P R, x R, and V R. Step 3. Initial fitness computing

The initial binary bits to represent each dimension of The initial fitness values of the swarm comprising m par-

particle position vector are not random. ticles are computed on objective function F (x).

Instead, in PBPSO, these bits are determined by per- Step 4. Setting initial personal best (Pbest ) and global

forming a comparison between P of relation (6) and a ran- best (gbest )

dom number r [0, 1] as The initial personal best is the current position of the

( particle and the corresponding fitness value while the ini-

1, if rand 6 P tial global best is position of the best particle in the swarm.

xb = (7)

0, else. Both positions and associated fitness values are recorded.

Step 5. Update of pseudo-probability x and velocity V

4) The initial velocities are set to zero. Now, an update of velocity V and pseudo-probability x

is done according to following equations:

5) The initial pseudo probabilities are also set to zero.

k+1 k

V(i,j) = w V(i,j) + c1 r1 (pkxb(i,j) xkb(i,j) )+

Further, a mutation operation is introduced to main-

tain the population diversity. The mutation operation will c2 r2 (gxkb(1,j) xkb(i,j) ) (12)

change a bit with a very small probability. A random num-

ber r [0, 1] is generated, and if r 6 m, then a bit state of

xk+1 k k+1

(i,j) = x(i,j) + V(i,j) (13)

x(i,j) can be changed from 1 to 0 or 0 to 1. Here, m is a

predefined mutation probability. Step 6. Generation of new candidate solutions

In PBPSO, the non-linear sigmoid function of DBPSO After updating V and X, new candidate solutions are

algorithm as in (3) has been replaced by a new linear es- generated with new probability for a bit to take the value.

timator P , as in (6). Because of velocity constriction, the Step 7. Fitness computing on successive iterations

algorithm inherently possesses some mutation probability. The new candidate solutions are evaluated on the fitness

The modifications have significantly improved performance function F (x).

of the algorithm. Step 8. Renewal of personal best (Pbest ) and global best

The whole procedure of the PBPSO algorithm is ex- (gbest )

plained as follows: On successive iterations, renew of personal best and

Step 1. Initialization global best is performed by replacing previous personal best

This step comprises setting of population size, PSO pa- and global best with new personal best and new global best

rameters, like acceleration coefficients, inertia weight, num- of a better fitness value.

ber of binary bits to represent the position vector of each Step 9. Termination of the algorithm

188 International Journal of Automation and Computing 8(2), May 2011

The flow chart diagram of the PBPSO algorithm is given Ki

in Fig. 1. Gc (s) = Kp + + Kd s (15)

s

gral time, and derivative time, respectively.

portional to the error and reduces the rise time.

performing an integral control action and eliminates

the steady-state error.

tem and reduces the overshoot by improving the tran-

sient response.

structure of a boiler turbine unit

The schematic diagram of a coordinated controller for a

boiler turbine unit can be considered, as in Fig. 2, where P

is the process model, D is the decoupler for achieving diag-

onal dominance to eliminate the coupling of the process,

is the governor valve position, is the boiler firing rate, P

and N are the desired throttle pressure and output power,

while Po and No are the actual throttle pressure and output

power.

Consider the following transfer function model of a boiler

turbine unit at any operating point[1] .

P (s) =

Fig. 1 Flow chart diagram of the PBPSO algorithm

4.2471(3.4s + 1) 3.224s(3.4s + 1)

3 PBPSO implementation (100s + 1)(20s + 1)(10s + 1)

(100s + 1)(10s + 1)

.

0.224 0.19(20s + 1)

3.1 PID controller (100s + 1)(20s + 1) (100s + 1)

(16)

The three term continuous PID controller transfer func-

tion can be expressed as As the system requires decoupling to achieve diagonal

1 dominance, a steady-state decoupler for the above process

Gc (s) = Kp 1 + + Td s (14) model is given as

Ti s

Fig. 2 PBPSO based coordinated control structure of boiler turbine unit with a compensator

M. I. Menhas et al. / Coordinated Controller Tuning of a Boiler Turbine Unit with 189

" #

1 0.2355 0 Z Z

D = [P (0)] = . (17) t t

0.2776 5.2632 f= |yd1 yout1 |dt + |yd2 yout2 |dt+

0 0

The decoupler D is placed in series with P so that

Z t Z t

G = P D is diagonal, then two PID controllers PID1 and

|yd3 yout3 |dt + |yd4 yout4 |dt (19)

PID2 are tuned to meet the required control performance. 0 0

3.4 Experiments and simulation results where yd1 = yd4 = 1 and yd2 = yd3 = 0.

3.4.1 Experimental conditions In order to perform a bounded search, parameter search

The experiments were carried out using Matlab, Pentium boundaries were specified, as shown below:

3.06 GHz, and 2 GB of RAM.

Each algorithm was tested for 8 000 (20040)fitness eval- (

0 6 Kp1 6 3, 0 6 Ki1 6 3, 0 6 Kd1 6 3

uations under identical conditions.

3.4.2 Simulation model 0 6 Kp2 6 3, 0 6 Ki2 6 3, 0 6 Kd2 6 3

The simulation model of the coordinated controller for

the process given by (16) was developed using Matlab. where, Kp1 , Ki1 , Kd1 and Kp2 , Ki2 , Kd2

3.4.3 Parameter settings for algorithms | {z } | {z }

PID1 PID2

As optimization, performance of any algorithm depends The best PID controller parameters and associated IAE

on parameter setting and inappropriate parameter values values among 20 simulation experiments with each algo-

may yield poor results. rithm were summarized in Table 2. The transient perfor-

In this particular case, to identify the best parameters for mances were shown in Fig. 3. From Table 2, Figs. 3 and 4,

each of the algorithms used for comparison with PBPSO, it can be seen that the PBPSO algorithm yields superior

simulation experiments were repeated independently with results in comparison to PSO, DBPSO, and MBPSO both

each algorithm with different parameter values to determine in terms of transient performance requirements and IAE

the most optimal parameters. values.

The parameter values of various algorithms are listed in

Table 1, where n is the population size and N is the number

of total iterations.

Table 1 Parameter values of algorithms

In optimization, a performance criterion or an objective

function returns an optimal solution. Therefore, the time

integral performance index and the integral of the absolute

error (IAE) were chosen as the performance criteria:

Z t

IAE = |yd y|dt. (18)

0

3.4.5 Experiments and simulation results

After setting algorithmic parameters, each variable of the

PID controller was set as a 16 bit binary string. Therefore,

a total of 96 bit were used to encode each candidate solution

comprising six variables for two PID controllers. These can-

didate solutions were decoded to their corresponding dec-

imal equivalents using standard binary to decimal conver-

sion rules. The resultant decimal values were passed to

both PID controllers simultaneously to evaluate the fitness (b) Transient performances of throttle pressure

of each candidate solution to minimize the following objec-

tive function: Fig. 3 Transient performances

190 International Journal of Automation and Computing 8(2), May 2011

Modes Algorithms Fitness

criterions Kp1 Ki1 Kd1 Kp2 Ki2 Kd2

IAE PID PSO 3 0.0229 2.5522 3 3 3 85.3014

IAE PID DBPSO 2.8350 0.0230 0.0663 2.5303 2.9221 0.0008 81.3047

IAE PID MBPSO 2.9988 0.0241 0.1079 2.9999 2.9290 0.0306 80.8404

IAE PID PBPSO 3 0.0227 0.014 2.9993 3 0.0694 77.6731

that the PBPSO method gives good results both in terms of

IAE values and convergence speed. Fig. 5 shows the conver-

gence behavior of PID parameters during 200 iterations. It

is observed that PBPSO determines the true optimal con-

troller gains. PSO, DBPSO, and MBPSO trapped in local

optima in many cases, while PBPSO has shown robustness

in escaping from local optimum.

5 Conclusions

In this paper, firstly, a new binary PSO, PBPSO, is

proposed. The proposed PBPSO algorithm is compared

Fig. 4 Convergence characteristics/fitness plot

with three former PSO algorithms of PID coordinated con-

troller tuning of boiler turbine unit. The comparative study

4 Comparison results through a series of simulation experiments have shown that

PBPSO method is more effective in identifying true optimal

In all cases, under identical conditions, the proposed gains in comparison to the continuous PSO, DBPSO, and

PBPSO algorithm yields the best optimization results, and MBPSO.

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

M. I. Menhas et al. / Coordinated Controller Tuning of a Boiler Turbine Unit with 191

(e) (f)

Fig. 5 Convergence behaviors of PID parameters

It is also observed that PBPSO algorithm executes faster [7] G. H. Cohen, G. A. Coon. Practical considerations of re-

than MBPSO and DBPSO due to the new estimator P that tarded control. Transactions of the ASME, vol. 75, pp. 827

reduces computation time by eliminating the exponential 834, 1953.

term in DBPSO. The MBPSO has shown somehow better

optimization ability in comparison to DBPSO and PSO, [8] Q. G. Wang, B. Zou, T. H. Lee, Q. Bi. Auto tuning of multi-

but it also traps in local optimum. PBPSO has proven to variable PID controllers from decentralized relay feed back.

be a robust method in terms of both convergence speed and Automatica, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 319330, 1997.

consistency.

The convergence curves of PID parameters reveal that [9] Y. Li, K. H. Ang, G. C. Y. Chong, W. Y. Feng, K. C. Tan,

the PBPSO algorithm possesses the required characteristics

H. Kashiwagi. CAutoCSD-evolutionary search and optimi-

of an efficient optimization algorithm, such as exploration,

sation enabled computer automated control system design.

exploitation, jumping out, and convergence.

International Journal of Automation and Computing, vol. 1,

Though the optimal gains identified by PBPSO al-

gorithm confirmed the satisfactory performance, however no. 1, pp. 7688, 2004.

an alternate multi-objective cost function might be more

suitable in identifying more appropriate set of optimal [10] H. Zhou, M. H. Zhang. A neural intellectual decoupling

gains. control strategy for a power plant ball miller. International

Journal of Automation and Computing, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 43

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go next. New Electron, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 3132, 1998. the particle swarm optimization algorithm. In Proceedings

192 International Journal of Automation and Computing 8(2), May 2011

of IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and E-mail: ilyasminhas75@yahoo.com (Corresponding author)

Cybernetics, IEEE, Orlando, USA, pp. 41044108, 1997.

[16] H. Shayeghi, M. Mahdavi, A. Bagheri. An improved DPSO Ling Wang received the B. Sc. and

Ph. D. degrees in control theory and control

with mutation based on similarity algorithm for optimiza-

engineering from East China University of

tion of transmission lines loading. Energy Conversion and

Science and Technology, PRC in 2002 and

Management, vol. 51, no. 12, pp. 27152723, 2010.

2007, respectively. He is an associate pro-

fessor at School of Mechatronics and Au-

[17] A. Uncler, A. Murat. A discrete particle swarm opti-

tomation, Shanghai University, PRC.

mization method for feature selection in binary classifica-

His research interests include intelligent

tion problems. European Journal of Operational Research, optimization algorithms and automatic control.

vol. 206, no. 3, pp. 528539, 2010. E-mail: wangling@shu.edu.cn

In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Neu- Min-Rui Fei received the Ph. D. degree

ral Networks, IEEE, Perth, Australia, vol. 4, pp. 19421948, in control theory and control engineering

1995. from Shanghai University, PRC in 1997.

Since 1998, he has been a professor at

[19] Q. Shen, J. H. Jiang, C. X. Jiao, G. L. Shen, R. Q. Yu. School of Mechatronics and Automation,

Modified particle swarm optimization algorithm for variable Shanghai University. He is a vice chairman

selection in MLR and PLS modeling: QSAR studies of an- of Chinese Association of System Simula-

tagonism of angiotensin II antagonists. European Journal tion, a standing director of China Instru-

of Pharmaceutical Sciences, vol. 22, no. 23, pp. 145152, ment & Control Society, and director of Chinese Artificial Intel-

2004. ligence Association.

His research interests include intelligent control, networked

control system, and wireless sensor networks.

Muhammad Ilyas Menhas received

E-mail: mrfei@staff.shu.edu.cn

the B. Sc. degree in electrical engineering

from University of Azad Jammu & Kash-

mir Pakistan in 2002. He has been an Cheng-Xi Ma received the M. Sc. degree

assistant engineer in AJK Electricity De- in control theory and control engineering

partment and a visiting lecturer at Cen- from School of Mechatronics and Automa-

tre for Computer Science and Information tion, Shanghai University, PRC in 2010. He

Technology University College Kotli, Azad is an employee of East China Electric Power

Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan. Currently, he is a Ph. D. candidate Design Institute, PRC.

at School of Mechatronics and Automation Shanghai University, His research interests include optimiza-

Shanghai, PRC. tion and automatic control.

His research interests include intelligent optimization algo- E-mail: machengxi888@163.com

rithms and automatic control.

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