Evolutionary Control of Helicopter Hovering Based on Genetic Programming

Evolutionary Control of Helicopter Hovering Based on Genetic Programming

Dimitris C. Dracopoulos (University of Westminster, UK) and Dimitrios Effraimidis (University of Westminster, UK)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4038-2.ch001


Computational intelligence techniques such as neural networks, fuzzy logic, and hybrid neuroevolutionary and neuro-fuzzy methods have been successfully applied to complex control problems in the last two decades. Genetic programming, a field under the umbrella of evolutionary computation, has not been applied to a sufficiently large number of challenging and difficult control problems, in order to check its viability as a general methodology to such problems. Helicopter hovering control is considered a challenging control problem in the literature and has been included in the set of benchmarks of recent reinforcement learning competitions for deriving new intelligent controllers. This chapter shows how genetic programming can be applied for the derivation of controllers in this nonlinear, high dimensional, complex control system. The evolved controllers are compared with a neuroevolutionary approach that won the first position in the 2008 helicopter hovering reinforcement learning competition. The two approaches perform similarly (and in some cases GP performs better than the winner of the competition), even in the case where unknown wind is added to the dynamic system and control is based on structures evolved previously, that is, the evolved controllers have good generalization capability.
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The Problem Of Helicopter Hovering

The state of the dynamic system of a helicopter is described in Box 1:Table 1.

The function set used by GP for the helicopter hovering problem

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