1, FEBRUARY 1993
AbstractA tutorial account of variable structure control with brief discussions about its historical development are pre
sliding mode is presented in this paper. The purpose is to sented.
introduce in a concise manner the fundamental theory, main
results, and practical applications of this powerful control sys A. The Basic Notion of VSC
tem design approach. This approach is particularly attractive
for the control of nonlinear systems. Prominent characteristics The basic idea of VSC was originally illustrated by a
such as invariance, robustness, order reduction, and control secondorder system [431, [ 1541 similar to the following
chattering are discussed in detail. Methods for coping with
chattering are presented. Both linear and nonlinear systems are X=y
considered. Future research areas are suggested and an exten
sive list of references is included. y = 2y x +U (la)
U = *x
where
FOR SYMBOLS
CONVENTIONS
Capital, italic letters represent matrices, e.g., A and K .
* = 4 when s ( x , y ) > 0
(1b)
Boldface, roman lowercase letters represent vectors, = 4 when s ( x , y ) < 0
e.g., a and k. and
Lowercase, italic letters represent scalars, e.g., a and
k. s(x,y) = X U , u=0.5x+y. (IC)
dimx and d i m 4 stand for dimensions of x and B , A block diagram of the system is shown in Fig. l(a). The
respectively. variable s(x, y) in (1.14 is the product of two functions
I. INTRODUCTION x = 0 and U = 0 . 5 ~+ y = 0.
reach the surface in finite time. On the switching Then, a function s(x) = c l x l + c 2 x 2+ ... +x, defines a
surface, the sliding mode takes place, following the surface
desired system dynamics. In this way, the overall
VSC system is globally asymptotically stable.
C,Xl + c 2 x 2+ c3x3 + ... +x, = 0 (8)
in the ndimensional phase space. If switching is con
C. Brief Theoretical Background
strained to occur on this ( n  1)dimensional surface,
Before the emergence of the early stages of VSC devel then all points of discontinuity lie on the surface. By
opment, its foundation had already been laid. Elements of solving (8) for x , and then substituting the result in (71,
the foundation consist of the theory of oscillation and the the differential equation of the sliding mode is found:
qualitative theory of differential equations. Brief discus
sions of these elements are given below. x1 = x 2
(a) Phase Plane Method: As a powerful graphical tool (9)
for studying secondorder dynamic systems, the phase
plane method was well established in the realm encom Xnpi = clxl  c 2 x 2 *  .  C n p I X , 1
passing the qualitative (geometric) theory of differential In summary, the coefficients in the switching function (8)
equations and oscillation theory. The classical literature define the characteristic equation of the sliding mode if
of Andronov et al. 161 and FluggeLotz [52] cited many the system model is described in controllable canonic
early works in these areas. In their outstanding works, two form.
contributions provided the foundation for the emergence Method 2: This method obtains the differential equa
of vsc: tion of sliding mode by means of two coordinate transfor
1) Regionwise linearization of nonlinear dynamic sys mations. Consider a linear, timeinvariant plant and a
switching function described by
tems in which linearization of nonlinear systems was
applied in partitioned regions of the phase plane. X=Ax+Bu
This gave the initial prototype VSC systems. s(x) = c x
2) The sliding mode motion, a term first used by Nikol
ski [ l l l l . This was the first concept of sliding mode where dimx = n and dimu = dims = m. The dynamics
control. of the sliding mode could be more easily described if the
state vector was composed with s as m of the state
(b) Theory of DiSferential Equations with a Nonanalytic variables. Therefore, the objective is to transform the
RightHand Side: Two kinds of nonanalyticity are of im model (10) into a form that contains s as m of the state
portance with respect to VSC: variables. The plant is first transformed by y = Tlx to the
1) Finite discontinuous righthand side, which is the form [1581
relay type discontinuity, and
2) Doublevalued righthand side, which is the relay Y , =A,lYl +&Y2

type discontinuity with hysteresis. Y2 =Az,y, +&y2 + Bu
The problem is that a differential equation is not defined where dimy, = n  m , dimy2 = m, and det # 0. A
at the point where the righthand side of the equation is second transformation
not analytic because the existence and uniqueness of the
solutions at these points are not guaranteed. Hence, the
phase plane method cannot give a complete solution
[ ]; = 7$:]
without defining an auxiliary equation at these points. The
brings (11) to the form I601
auxiliary equation is the model of switching that occurs in
VSC systems with discontinuous control. Five methods Y, = & y , +&S
have been suggested to define the differential equation
for the system at points of discontinuous dynamics. They s =&yl + A22s+ B u
are summarized as follows.
Method 1: First, transform the system model to control When the system is in the sliding mode, the dynamics
lable canonic form. For example, the controllable canonic satisfy s = 0 and S = 0. From (121, the differential equa
form for a timeinvariant, singleinput linear system is tion for the sliding mode is easily solved by setting s = 0:
x, = x 2 Yl =Ally,. (13)
Method 3: Fillipov established a systematic mathemati
cal theory for differential equations with discontinuities
x,1 =x,, (7) [%I, [51], [110]. Consider a general plant
x = f(x,u) (14)
and switching function s(x) where dimx = n , dimu = m.
HUNG et al.: VARIABLE STRUCTURE CONTROL: A SURVEY 5
general linear systems was more firmly established; the able structure system response. The extensions of these
general system is of the form concepts to nonlinear systems are then presented. Further
extensions of variable structure concepts to other control
x =Ax + Bu (231 objectives besides stabilization and regulation are briefly
where dimx = n and dimu = m. an mdimensional lin described. Known studies of variable structure control for
ear vector switching function 4x1 was postulated for the some special systems are noted. Since application of VSC
VSC. The control structure for each of the m inputs was has been widespread in recent years, some notable contri
described as butions are listed. Finally, a very extensive list of refer
ences is included. Other survey papers by Utkin [1551
u,(x) = @,+(x) when s,(x) > 0 11571, DeCarlo er al. [35], and a monograph by Gao [601
(24) are also recommended.
= @,(x) when s,(x) < 0 i = 1,2;..,m
and every scalar switching function s,(x) was linear in the 11. VSC FOR LINEAR
SYSTEMS
state variables rather than quadratic. However, the estab The discussion in this section concerns the general
lished VSC theory did not attract much attention for linear timeinvariant system represented by the state
many practical applications. The reason seems to be equation
twofold. First, VSC theory was overshadowed by the popu
lar linear control system design techniques. Second, the X=Ax+Bu (25)
important robustness properties of the VSC system were The state vector x is ndimensional and the input U is
not yet fully recognized or appreciated. mdimensional. The m column vectors of the B matrix
(b) The Present Stage of Adilancing Der>elopment are designated as b,, for i = 1 to m.
(1980Present): Since 1980, two developments have greatly
enhanced the attention given to VSC systems. The first is A. Basic Definitions
the existence of a genral VSC design method for complex Basic terminology of variable structure systems with
systems. The second is a full recognition of the property sliding mode are more carefully defined in this section.
of perfect robustness of a VSC system with respect to Definition 1: The structure in a VSC system is governed
system perturbation and disturbances. As a result, re by the sign of a vectorvalued function s(x), which is
search and development of VSC methods have been defined to be the switching function. A switching function
greatly accelerated, both in theory and in applications. is generally assumed to be m dimensional and linear, i.e.,
The R & D work may be classified into five categories:
s(x) = cx (26)
1) Development for different system models. This in where
cludes the development of VSC theory for nonlinear
systems, discretetime systems, systems with time S(X) = [s,(x) s?(x) ... S,,,(X)]'' (27)
.;
delay, stochastic systems, largescale systems and and
infinitedimensional systems.
2) Extension of the objectives of control. The functions c ;.[
= ... 4I 7 (28)
of VSC have been extended beyond system stabiliza
Thus
tion to include motion following or tracking, model
following, model reaching, adaptive and optimal con s,(x) = c7'x. (29)
trol, and state observation.
Each scalar switching function s,(x) describes a linear
3 ) Exploration of additional properties of VSC. Such
surface s,(x) = 0, which is defined to be ii switching sur
properties include invariance of the sliding mode to
face. The term switching manifold is often used. In addi
system perturbations, robustness of the reaching or
tion, the surface can be called a switching hyperplane
nonsliding mode, and the elimination or reduction of
because the switching function is linear. Notice in the
control chatter.
introductory exampled, however, that the set s ( x , y) = 0
4) Establishment of VSC laws that possess certain
consisted of two intersecting lines. Such a set is not a
characteristics.
manifold in the mathematical sense. Hence, the terms
5 ) Applications in various engineering problems.
manifold and hyperplane are avoided in the remainder of
The purpose of this tutorial paper is to present the this paper.
fundamental theory and main results for the design of Let x,) be the initial state of the system at the initial
VSC systems. The basic notions and a brief history of time to, x(t) be the state at any time t, and S be a
VSC development have already been presented. More switching surface that includes the origin x = 0.
precise definitions and deeper concepts are presented Definition 2: If, for any xo in S, we have x(t) in S for all
next by considering VSC for linear plants. Concepts dis t > to, then x(t) is a sliding motion or sliding mode of the
cussed are the design of switching surfaces, characteriza system.
tion of the sliding mode and the reaching or nonsliding Definition 3: If every point in S is an end point, that is,
mode, control law design, and basic properties of a vari for every point in S there are trajectories reaching it from
HUNG et al.:VARIABLE STRUCTURE CONTROL: A SURVEY
example, the intersection of three surfaces S,, S,, scheme [154]. The scheme has several weaknesses, i.e.,
and s k is a switching surface Sflk of dimension giving slow and poor transient response in general, result
( n  3). There are
:( 1
such surfaces.
Finally, there is a single switching surface S E of
ing in large magnitude for control effort, and great diffi
culty in its solution.
(b) FreeOrder Switching Scheme: Here, the order of
dimension ( n  m), which is the intersection of all
sliding modes is not preassigned but follows the natural
surfaces S,, i = 1,2;.., m taken together. SE may be trajectory on a firstreachfirstswitch scheme. The switch
called the eventual switching surface to which all
ing takes place depending on the location of the initial
trajectories must eventually reach. The surface is state in the state space. This scheme [31],[61] is more
given by
plausible than the fixedorder scheme for three reasons.
SE = {x~s(x) = CX = 0} = SI n S, n ... n S,. (32) First, using this the solution of VSC is easy to determine.
Second, the reaching mode possesses better dynamic char
The total number of switching described by 3032 is acteristics. Finally, the resulting control effort is smaller
2"  1. On each of the switching surfaces, there may be in magnitude so saturation is less likely to occur.
a sliding mode that is described by a differential equation (c) Eventual Sliding Mode Switching Scheme: In this
of the same dimension as the switching surface. There scheme the state is driven from any initial state to the
fore, it is possible to have a total of 2"  1 different eventual sliding surface S E on which the sliding mode
sliding modes. The sliding mode associated with SE may control takes place. There may or may not be sliding
be called the eventual sliding mode. This way of defining modes on other switching surfaces. This scheme is simple
sliding modes was implied in the hierarchical control in implementation and its control is easy to be made
scheme of Utkin [154]. However, many authors consider smooth 13.51, [155]. However, the scheme does not guaran
only the motion on SE as the sliding motion. Different tee good transient characteristics.
definitions described here are all useful because there are (d) Decentralized Switching Scheme: The system is
actually many ways in which a sliding motion can begin. treated as m singleinput subsystems, each having a scalar
8 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOL. 40, NO. 1, FEBRUARY 1993
switching function and its associated sliding mode. The method. It directly specifies the dynamics of the switching
subsystems are coupled in general. The combined vector function. Let the dynamics of the switching function be
switching function has the form specified by the differential equation
'('1 = [s~(xI),***, sm(xm)l S =  Q sgn(s)  Kf(s) (38)
s , ( x , ) = cTx,, i = 1 to m where gains Q and K are diagonal matrices with positive
where x, and c , are n,dimensional vectors with elements, and
m
sgn(s) = [sgn ( s , ) ... sgn ( s m > l T
C n, = n.
r=l
'('1 = [ f l ( ~ , ) ... fm(sm>lT.
The scheme is intended for largescale systems and gives
good results [88], [143]. The scalar functions f , satisfy the condition
In general, the freeorder switching scheme is the best s,f,(s,) > 0 when s, # 0 , i = 1 to m .
among all schemes. But, for large scale systems, the
decentralized switching scheme is prefered. Equation (38) is called the reaching law. Various choices
of Q and K specify different rates for s and yield differ
C. Reaching Conditions and the Reaching Mode ent structures in the reaching law. Three examples are
The condition under which the state will move toward
and reach a sliding surface is called a reaching condition. 1) The constant rate reaching law
The system trajectory under the reaching condition is S =  Q sgn(s) (39)
called the reaching mode or reaching phase. Three ap
proaches for specifying the reaching condition have been 2) The constant plus proportional rate reaching law
proposed.
S = Qsgn(s)  Ks (40)
(a) The Direct Switching Function Approach: The earli
est reaching condition proposed [431, [1541 was 3) The power rate reaching law
4, > 0, when s, <0 Si = k,ls,IU sgn ( s i ) o <a <1 i = 1 to m .
S < 0, when s, >0 i = l;.. , m (41)
or, equivalently, The reaching law approach not only establishes the reach
s,S, <0 i = l;.., m . (33) ing condition but also specifies the dynamic characteristics
of the system during the reaching phase [61]. Additional
This reaching condition is global but does not guarantee a merits of this approach include simplification of the solu
finite reaching time. A similar sufficient condition that is tion for VSC and providing a measure for the reduction of
local in nature was proposed by Utkin [155] chattering [63]. This approach results in the freeorder
lim S, < 0
s,0+
and
s, 
lim S, > 0.
0 ~
(34) switching scheme.
D. The Control Law
It will be shown in Section 11D(a) that (33) is very
difficult to use for the multipleinput VSC. Even with a Design of the VSC control law is affected by two
simplifying assumption, such as adopting fixedorder factors: 1) the choice of a sliding mode entering scheme,
switching, the approach remains difficult. and 2 ) whether or not the structure of the control law has
(b) The Lyapunou Function Approach: By choosing the been prespecified. In this section, various design ap
Lyapunov function candidate proaches are presented. The influence of the sliding mode
entering scheme is discussed first. Consider the model
V ( x , t ) = sTs (35) represented by (25)(29) for the following discussion.
(a) Effect of the Switching Scheme: Solutions for the
a global reaching condition is given by [79]
VSC law are straightforward in general, except for the
fixedorder sliding mode scheme.
V ( x , t ) < 0 when s # 0. (36)
(i) Fixedorder switching scheme: For the fixedorder
Finite reaching time is guaranteed by modifying (36) to scheme, the determination of the control U involves the
V ( x ,t ) <  E when s f 0, where E is positive. solution of m pairs of inequalities [154, 1741.
(37) dS > 0, when s, <0
Si =  ( A x
dX
+ Bu) =
< 0, when s, >0
Clearly, this approach leads to the eventual sliding mode
switch scheme. for i = l;.,m. (42)
(c) The Reaching Law Approach: The crux of the reach
ing law approach is a new method called the reaching law Let b; be the ith column vector of the B matrix. Develop

The solution for VSC is more involved than that for the
freeorder switching scheme but is probably easier than
that for the fixedorder switching. The values of k: and k ; are chosen to satisfy the desired
(iv) Decentralized switching scheme: For the decen reaching condition.
tralized switching scheme, the VSC controls of all the 2) Linear feedback with switched gains: The preassigned
subsystems are separately designed, Each subsystem con structure is
trol can be obtained independently using any one of the
above three approaches. Consider an n thorder largescale 4.1 = @(x)x (49)
system with m singleinput subsystems where @ = [@,J(x)]is an m x n matrix of statedependent
m gains. A popular structure for the gains is
x, = A , x , + B,u, + ~ , ~i =
xI;.., ~m . (47)
I= 1
/+I
[01
in the input U. That is, dimA, = n, X n,
[ 1
input transformation. A n inputoutput model of the sys a,o(x)
tem is represented by appending an mdimensional out 0
put function
p,(x) = dim@,= n , X m.
y = c(x,u,t) (55)
to (54). The nonlinear systems considered in this paper PI"(X>
will have the same numbers of outputs and inputs. Time Finally, the overall system dynamics are given by
invariant systems are modeled by omitting the variable t
in (541455). x =Ax + a ( x ) + P(X)U
Three points are stressed at the outset for nonlinear where
systems: A = diag[A,, A 2 , . . . , A m ]
1) Basic concepts and the fundamental theory of VSC
are similar to those for linear systems. =
2) The derivation of a control u(x) is similarly simple a(.) =
and staightfonvard.
3) But the analysis of the sliding mode and the search
Note that there can be coupling between the m subsys
for the corresponding switching function become a
tems (57b).
more difficult problem.
3 ) The InputOutput Decoupled Form: Consider a single
To study the stability of sliding modes occurring in nonlin input/single output (SISO) nonlinear system with out put
ear systems, various state transformations are used to put y = c(x, U ) . Let y'') denote the rth differentiation of y
the differential equations of the system in one of several with respect to time. The number of differentiations of
possible canonical forms. Reaching laws are generally the output function y = c(x, U ) required for the input U
tailored to take advantage of canonical form characteris to appear explicitly is called the relative degree r of the
tics. system. Note that the relative degree of a system cannot
be greater than the system order n. This concept of
A. Canonical Forms relative degree for a SISO nonlinear system is compatible
1) Reduced Form: The state vector x is partitioned into with the definition of relative degree for linear systems,
x1 and x2, where dimx, = dimu = m and dimx, = n  i.e., the excess of poles over zeros.
m. In addition, the input matrix takes the special form Relative degree in a MIMO system is defined in a
HUNG et al.: VARIABLE STRUCTURE CONTROL: A SURVEY 11
similar fashion. For a given output y,, define the relative mensional switching surface equation
degree r, to be the smallest integer such that at least one
of the inputs appears explicitly in a differentiation. Since s(x) = S(XI,X2) = 0 (62)
there are m outputs in the system, there are m such Theoretically, this equation can be solved for x 2 in terms
integers r,. The relative degree is denoted by the set of x , in the form of x2 = d x , ) . This is equivalent to
( r , ; . . , rnl)and the total relatilie degree is defined by r = r1 expressing the switching function as
+ ... +r,.
If the total relative degree r equals the system order n , s(x) = x2  w(xl). (63)
then there are conditions such that the system Thus the problem of determining the switch function 4x1
X =A(x) + B(x)u is to find d x , ) such that the sliding mode is asymptoti
(59) cally stable. That is, the system (56a), with x2 = d w , ) is
Y = c(x) asymptotically stable. In general, it is difficult to find a
can be represented as a set of m decoupled higherorder desired w(x,> unless matrix A , in (56) is of a certain
differential equations of the form special structure. At any rate, the dimension of x, is
n  m, less than that of the original system. Once d x , ) is
found, so is s(x). Then the VSC u(x) may be designed
)... y,l. . . . ; y n l)...)y $ ,  ) ) u , using the reaching law method in a way similar to that for
linear systems.
i = 1,..., m. (60) Using the reaching law (38) in the system (56) yields the
VSC signal
Necessary and sufficient conditions for this transforma
tion have been established in [541, [781. When the total
relative degree r < n, then the system can be represented
in the normal form, which is presented next.
)
.
(
U = 
( B*(x)
dY2 ]I(
Q sgn(s) + kf(s)
4) Normal Form: Under certain mild restrictions, a dS dS
system model (54) that has total relative degree r < n can +A,(x) + A*(x)
be transformed into the normal form using differential dx, dx2
geometry methods [24], [78]. The state transformation is 2) VSC for the Controllability Form: In this form, the
divided into two groups of scalar functions. The first entire system is decomposed into m subsystems, so it is
group of functions z f , ,are simply the m output functions convenient to use a decentralized sliding mode scheme
y, = c,(x,u) and their derivatives up through order J = r, with decoupled switching functions, such as
 1, where r, is the relative degree of the ith output. The
total number of state transformation functions in this first s, = cTx, i = l;..,m. (65)
group equals r = r1 + ... +r,,,. The new state vector is The stability of the sliding mode of each subsystem is
completed by finding n  r additional state transforma guaranteed if c; is appropriately chosen. From (57), one
tions rlk, k = l;.., n  r , which are independent of each sees that x, is a substate vector in the phase variable form
other and the functions zl,,. Since t h e variables z,,, are and the equations of the subsystem are
associated with the outputs, they can be considered the
external dynamic variable. The functions rll, are inter i l l = XI2
preted as being internal variables. The system dynamics
Xf2 = x,3
are represented in terms of z f , ,and 77 = 7,,IT as
follows.
with order n ,  1, and the characteristic polynomial is the sliding mode, and 3) the steadystate mode. The
specified by the coefficients of the vector c , . Therefore, steady state of a system is here defined to be the final
stability of each sliding mode is guaranteed by choosing periodic state of the system, which includes the constant
the elements of c , to match a desired characteristic equa state as a special case. Different forms of steady state
tion. include zeroerror state, constant offset state, and limit
3) VSC for the InputOutput Decoupled Form: This case cycle state.
is very similar to the controllability form case, with the Since finite delays are inherent in all physical actuators,
only difference in the meaning of the transformed state the sliding and steadystate modes are always accompa
variables. Variable structure control issues remain un nied by objectionable chattering. The performance of a
changed. The case was studied in [143], [148], where the VSC system is therefore measured by its response charac
switching function used took a special form teristics, robustness, and severity of chattering.
A. Characteristics of the Reaching Mode
To better understand the reaching mode dynamics in a
It should be pointed out that it is very advisable to VSC system, a reaching space representation has been
apply the centralized VSC where a set of subsystem proposed [611. Consider an nthorder system with m in
switching function is given by puts and a switching function s, where dims = m. Define
an mdimensional reaching space R , whose coordinates
s,(xI)= C ~ X , i = 1 to m . are the m scalar functions s,. Thus, a reaching law dif
4) VSC for the Normal Form: The known results for ferential equation such as
variable structure control of a system in normal form (61)
S = Qsgn(s)  Kf(s) (68)
assume stability of the zero dynamics. Zero dynamics are
dynamics of the system under the condition that outputs represents the dynamics of the reaching mode in the
and their derivatives equal zero. Therefore, the zero dy reaching space rather than in the original state space
namics are described by the internal dynamic variables coordinates. Given ffs), (68) can be integrated to yield a
with z = 0: solution s(t>,which describes a unique trajectory in R .
i = Y(0>77). This trajectory is completely determined by the reaching
Then, the switching function for a system in the normal laws design and it yields certain important information
form can be chosen as about the reaching mode. For example, the reaching time
, the sliding surface s = 0, is
T from the initial state s ~ to
s, = cTzl i = I;.., m. more easily determined in reaching space coordinates.
Further discussion on reaching space can be found in Gao
Among the literature treating the normal form can be
and Hung in this issue [63].
found the case of r = n (total relative degree = system
order) 1491, the singleinput case [138], and the multiple B. characteristics of the Sliding Mode
input case 1551, [901, [98]. The main issue in this approach
The behavior of the sliding mode for linear plants has
is how to guarantee the stability of the zero dynamics
been discussed in Section 11. One of the main results is
;7 = 7(0,77) and how to relate to the formulation of the
that a desired sliding mode dynamics can be achieved by
output vector function y = c(x).
an appropriate design of the switching function. In this
5 ) VSC for More General Models: As stated earlier, the
section, another characteristic of the sliding mode is con
most general nonlinear model takes the form x = ffx,U, t).
sidered, namely, robustness or insensitivity to certain
Works in this area exist [131, [141, [135] and deal with
modeling errors and disturbances.
some basic concepts, such as the definition of the sliding
Robustness is one of the most distinguishing properties
mode and the possibility of certain approximations in
of VSC systems. For a plant represented by either a linear
VSC systems. However, many issues remain unexplored.
or nonlinear highorder differential equation, the differ
In summary, the design of a VSC system requires the
ential equation of the sliding mode can be entirely inde
determination of appropriate switching functions and en
pendent of effects due to modeling error and external
suring stability of the sliding modes. Up to now, these
disturbances. Thus, the sliding mode is said to be inruriant
steps are reasonable only when the system is in one of the
(better than just robust) to modeling error and distur
canonical forms discussed above. This often means that
bances. The invariance property requires that certain
only special cases have been treated. Many problems still
matching conditions be satisfied; these are examined in
remain open and several important issues will be raised in
more detail next.
the following discussion about the basic properties of
Consider a general linear system of the form
variable structure control.
I v . PROPERTIES OF vsc x = (A + A A ) x + B u + f(t) (69)
The complete response of a VSC system consists of where A A and f f t ) represent the modeling error and
three phases of different modes: 1) the reaching mode, 2) external disturbance, respectively. If there exist A A and
HUNG ef al.: VARIABLE STRUCTURE CONTROL: A SURVEY 13
6 t ) such that matching conditions [281, [391, [421 switching function. An interpretation is that a highgain
control is used near the surface. A consequence of the
AA =BAA and f(t)=BAi (70) continuation method is that invariance is lost. The system
are satisfied, then the sliding mode is invariant. The possesses robustness that is a function of the boundary
physical meaning of (70) is that all modeling uncertainties layer width. Another continuation method [3], [22] re
and disturbances enter the system through the control places a minmax type control
channel. CTX cTx
The same result has been extended to nonlinear sys U =  by U=
tems [133] ICTXl lCTXI +6
x = A(x) + AA(x) + B(x)u + f(x,t ) . (71a) where the positive constant 6 makes the control U contin
uous.
In fact, for the more general case where B(x) is also The general effects of continuation and the effects of
perturbed delays in actual implementation of a variable structure
x =A(x,t) + AA(x,p,t) + B(x),u control are now described for the four common types of
switching characteristics shown in Fig. 5. The reader may
+ A B ( x , P , t)u + f ( x , P , t ) (71b) find it helpful to consider a simple secondorder system
where p is an uncertain parameter vector, it has been and switching surface such as
shown [63] that invariance hold true if the following
matching conditions are satisfied
+
.i a i + px ku(s)
=
(73)
s=x+cx
A A ( & P,t ) = B ( x , t ) A A ( x ,P , t ) In the phase plane, the sliding surface equation describes
a straight line passing through the origin with slope  c .
AB(% P , t ) = B(x,t)A&x, P , f) (72)
The ideal relay control (Fig. 5(a)): Here the control
f(x, P , t ) = B(x,t ) A @ , p , t ) takes the form
for certain A A , A B , and i. u(s)=sgn(s) = + 1 when s > 0
C. Chattering in Sliding and SteadyState Modes = 1 w h e n s < 0
One of the underlying assumptions in the design and The control is ideal in the sense that it switches instantly
analysis of VSC systems is that the control can be switched at the value s = 0. For this case it is easy to get the exact
from one value to another at will, infinitely fast. In practi analytical solution and to sketch the entire phase portrait
cal systems, however, it is impossible to achieve the high as shown in Fig. 6(a), from which the following conclu
switching control that is necessary to most VSC designs. sions can be illustrated:
There are several reasons for this. One cause is the An ideal sliding mode exists on the line s = 0, mean
presence of finite time delays for control computation. ing there is no chattering. This is because the control
The second cause is the limitations of physical actuators. can switch infinitely close of the line s = 0.
A n example can be found in dc servomotor control design, There is no steadystate error.
where it is often assumed that the plant input is current. The invariance property holds because the control
Because of winding inductance, it is impossible to switch can keep the system on the line s = 0.
current at an infinitely fast rate. Since it is impossible to The ideal saturation control (Fig. 5(b): The most simple
switch the control at infinite rate, chattering always occurs saturating control is described by
in the sliding and steadystate modes of a VSC system. In
the steady state, chattering appears as a highfrequency u(s)=sat(s) = + 1 when s > L
S
oscillation about the desired equilibrium point and may =  when Is1 5 L
also serve as a source to excite the unmodeled high L
frequency dynamics of the system [61, [521, [911, 11471. = 1 when s <  L
Since chattering is almost always objectionable, significant
where L > 0 and f L defines the thresholds for entering
research effort has been directed at eliminating or reduc
the boundary layer. Outside the boundary layer, the con
ing its effects. Several methods are described below.
trol is identical to the ideal relay characteristic. Within
1) The Continuation Approach: In many VSC designs,
the boundary layer, however, the control is a highgain,
the control contains terms that are relaylike in nature, as
linear control. As a result, the system will be driven to the
shown in Fig. 6(a). The ideal relay characteristic is practi
boundary layer, but the trajectory cannot not be forced to
cally impossible to implement, so one approach to reduc
follow the line s = 0. In the present case, the exact phase
ing the chatter is to replace relay control by a saturating,
portrait of the system can still be obtained as shown in
continuous approximation as shown in Fig. 603) [1431,
Fig. 6(b), illustrating the following conclusions:
[148]. In state space, a boundary layer around the switch
ing surface is introduced. Within this boundary layer, the The sliding mode does not exist because the trajec
control is chosen to be a continuous approximation of the tory is not forced to stay on the s = 0 surface.
14 IEEE TRANSACTIONS O N INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOL. 40, NO. 1, FEBRUARY 1993
*+ I
but has two equilibrium points (points P and P in
Fig. 6(d)). There is steadystate error.
There is no chattering phenomenon.
When the slope of the linear part of the saturation
function is not sufficiently large, the system ceases to
possess any VSC system properties.
The invariance characteristics do not exist.
In conclusion, continuation approaches eliminate the
highfrequency chattering at the price of losing invari
ance. A high degree of robustness can still be maintained
with a small boundary layer width, but significant delays in
the control actuator may dictate the need for a thicker
boundary layer. In the extreme case, large amplitude
lowfrequency oscillation may result and the system may
(C) (4 cease to possess any variable structure behavior. The
Fig. 5. Switching functions. invariance and robustness properties of the system no
longer exist in the latter case. It is interesting to note, in
Fig. 6, that in all four cases the VSC systems are stable
No chattering can occur, since a continuous control is and their state trajectories are bounded in a strip in the
used within the boundary layer. state space. If the width of the strip is sufficiently narrow,
In the absence of disturbances, there is no steadystate the dynamics within the strip may be called the quasi
error. sliding mode. Thus one can consider that the systems
Invariance property does not exist. shown in b, c, and d of Fig. 7 have quasisliding modes.
Another type of boundary layer modification that has 2) Tuning the Reaching Law Approach: Chattering can
been proposed [ 1431, [147] involves adaptively adjusting be reduced by tuning parameters q, and k , in the reach
the boundary layer width to match the degree of uncer ing law
tainty in the dynamics of the system. S, = 4, sgn (s,)  k,s, i = l;.. ,m.
The Practical relay control (Fig. 5c): A practical relay Near the switching surface, s, =: 0, so IS,I = q,. By choos
always exhibits hysteresis, modeled by ing the gain q, small, the momentum of the motion will be
reduced as the system trajectory approaches the switching
u(s)=hys(s) = + 1 when s > A, or
surface. As a result, the amplitude of the chatter will be
when S < 0 and Is1 < A reduced. However, q, cannot be chosen equal to zero
because the reaching time would become infinite; the
= 1 whens<A, or
system fails to be a sliding mode control system. A large
when S > 0 and Is1 < A value for k , increases the reaching rate when the state is
not near the switching surface. Finite reaching time with a
where 2A > 0 is the amount of the hysteresis in s. The zero reaching rate at the switching surface can be achieved
hysteresis characteristic makes it impossible to switch the using the power rate reaching law (41). By this method,
control on the surface s = 0. Instead, switching occurs on the chattering can practically be suppressed altogether.
the lines s = fA. The exact solution of the system can be Simulation results for such control can be found in [631.
determined with some effort and the phase portrait of the Other works devoted to the elimination or reduction of
response, Fig. 6(c), illustrates the following general char chattering exist and can be found in the literature [12],
acteristics:
[291, [471, [1021, [1811.
A nonideal sliding mode exists, meaning there always In summary, chattering is a hindrance to the widespread
is chattering in the sliding mode. use of VSC in many practical control systems. Elimination
The system has limit cycle behavior in steady state. or reduction of chattering remains an important and
It is impossible to eliminate the chatter. challenging problem.
The origin is not an equilibrium point.
v . EXTENSION
TO OTHER CONTROL OBJECTIVES
The practical saturation control (Fig. 5(d)): A practical Variable structure control concepts, and more specifi
saturation element also exhibits hysteresis. Analysis of a cally the sliding mode approach, were initially applied to
system with such a control is complicated, especially in system stabilization or regulatortype problems. The tech
the case of a nonlinear system. Describing function tech niques have since been extended to many other control
niques can be useful. Fig. 6(d) shows the phase portrait of issues. The following discussion considers a general sys
the VSC system. Generally speaking: tem
The sliding mode does not exist at all. +
X = A ( x ,t ) B ( x ,t ) u (74)
The VSC system is asymptotically stable in the large, where dimx = n and dimu = m.
HUNG et al.: VARIABLE STRUCTURE CONTROL: A SURVEY 15
C Y ly
The extension of VSC concepts to tracking problems In addition to meeting the requirements of following a
can be found in several references [251, [60], [1601. Here, model output, one may desire the system (74) to behave
the objective is to cause the motion x(t) of the system (74) like the model after finite time. This is called model
to follow a desired motion xJt) asymptotically. reaching control. In fact, the most basic VSC can be
A related, but different interpretation of the tracking considered a model reaching control, where the model
problem is that of model following. That is, the desired reached in finite time is the dynamic equation of the
motion is that of a reference model (nth order, p inputs): sliding mode. This model has dimension p = n  m.
Variable structure control with dynamic feedback com
+
x, = A , x m B,r x,(O) = x, (75) pensation has recently been proposed [62]. A n mthorder
where r is the command or reference input and x, is the state equation that represents the compensator is ap
initial condition of the system (74). Results in this area pended to the original system (74) to give an ( n m)th +
can be found in [151, [281, [331, [361, [671, [1301, [1731,[1751. order system
There are also many papers investigating model following
systems where some parameters or part of the model is x = A(x, t ) + B(x, t ) u
not exactly known. Variable structure control has been (76)
used with a variety of other measures to produce adaptive +
z = Q(x, t ) W(X, t ) ~ .
model following systems [31, [51, [91, [lo], [681, [751, [loo],
[1451. One chooses s = s(x, z, t ) to be an mdimensional switch
16 IEEE TRANSACTIONS O N INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS, VOL. 40, NO. 1, FEBRUARY 1993
ing function whose eventual sliding mode represents the system describe N decoupled subsystems. The corre
desired nthorder model. In the eventual sliding mode, sponding VSC law can be obtained by methods presented
the VSC system behaves as the model does. in Section 11. In general, the obtained VSC laws are of
A large body of work has contributed to control of two levels, the global control and the local control [601,
uncertain dynamic systems. A general model is [88]. The reader is referred to literature for both the
linear [4], [87], [88] and nonlinear cases [103], [104], [120].
x = Aox + A A ( x , p , t ) + ( B o + AB(x, p, t ) ) u A n application to power systems has also been reported in
+ f(X,P,t) (77) [891.
where p is a uncertain parameter vector, AA and A B are
B. Discrete Time Systems
uncertain perturbations, and f is the unknown external
disturbance vector. The VSC may be structured the same For the VSC of discretetime systems, the structures of
way as that for systems without uncertainties by taking the control are similar to that for continuoustime systems
into account the bounds on A A , A B , and f [32], [63]. A [571, 1591, [1061, [127]. However, the characteristics of
contribution by Leitmann [94], which is often called Lya discretetime VSC systems differ from those of continu
punovs minmax method, has inspired another series of oustime VSC systems in two respects. First, discretetime
works [lll, [301, [341, [641[661, [9Sl, [961, [991, [1501. These VSC systems can only undergo quasisliding modes [106],
works are closely related to variable structure control i.e., the state of the system can approach the switching
results. surface but cannot stay on it, in general. This is due to the
When not all state variables of a system fact that control action can only be activated at sampling
instants and the control effort is constant over each
X = A(x, t) + B(x, t)u sampling period. Second, when the state does reach the
y = cx switching surface, the subsequent discretetime switching
cannot generate the equivalent control to keep the state
are measurable, a state observer is often proposed. The on the surface. Thus, discretetime VSC systems do not
state estimation problem for nonlinear systems is, how possess the invariance properties found in continuoustime
ever, complicated and generally difficult to solve. The systems; the robustness issues are still under investigation.
problem is often more tractable using VSC design tech
niques. Because the objectives of state estimation are C. DistnbutedParameter Systems
quite similar to that of model following, one can design a
sliding mode for the state observation error. Works on The study of the VSC for distributedparameter systems
VSC observers have been reported for linear systems [71], is still in its infancy. The available results show that
for singleoutput nonlinear systems [ 1451, for uncertain simple extensions of theory for lumpedparameter systems
dynamic systems 11611, 11621, and for applications to mo are not valid. The difficulties are threefold. First, there is
tors [S61, [931, [1261. The implementation of VSC systems no general theory on partial differential equations with a
using linear state observers has also been reported [13], discontinuous righthand side. Second, although the
equivalent control approach for lumpedparameters sys
[19l, [1611, [1621.
tems could be applied to distributedparameter cases, it is
VI. EXTENSION
TO OTHER TYPES
OF DYNAMIC
SYSTEMS difficult to find and validate approximation conditions that
A. Largescale Systems are used [77], [1131, [1141. Finally, the VSC law would be
related to the characteri5tics for the system model in a
Variable structure control for largescale systems was very complex way. For example, application of VSC tech
briefly discussed in Section IID(a). Consider the large niques to a heat flow process may exploit boundary condi
scale system that may be represented by N coupled sub tions in order to develop the control law. Because bound
systems ary conditions vary, the designed sliding mode may not
N always exist.
x, = A,x, + B,u, + A,,x, i = l,...,N (79) A n approximate (not precise) condition for a particular
]=1 parabolic distributed parameter has been reported [771,
I+( [114]. For systems described by firstorder differential
where dimx, = n,, dimu, = m,. In (79), ( A , ,B,) is a equations, the problem can be transformed into that of
controllable pair. If all A,,s satisfy the matching condi finitedimensional systems by using the concept of a char
tion acteristic direction field. Then the sliding mode conditions
can be expressed in terms of a finitedimensional sliding
rank ( A , ,, B , ) = rank B, mode condition using the socalled controlled character
istic equation 11361. Another approach to the VSC of
then Nvector switching functions
distributedparameter systems is to approximate them by
s,(x,i) = CTX, dims, = m, i = l;.. , N finitedimensional lumpedparameters. Such an approach
is widely used in dealing with VSC for flexible spacecraft
can be chosen such that the sliding modes of the overall structures L11.51, [I 161, 11191.
HUNG et al.: VARIABLE STRUCTURE CONTROL: A SURVEY 17
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HUNG et al.: VARIABLE STRUCTURE CONTROL: A SURVEY 21
drives, electromagnetic systems, and the analysis of power electronic and a member of the editorial committee of the Chinese Joumal of
circuits. Automation. He also holds several other leadership positions in academic
Dr. Hung is a member of Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi. organizations concerning systems and control in China.
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