Koopman Invariant Subspaces and Finite Linear Representations of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems for Control

January 16, 2016


In this work, we explore finite-dimensional linear representations of nonlinear dynamical systems by restricting the Koopman operator to an invariant subspace spanned by specially chosen observable functions. The Koopman operator is an infinite-dimensional linear operator that evolves functions of the state of a dynamical system. Dominant terms in the Koopman expansion are typically computed using dynamic mode decomposition (DMD). DMD uses linear measurements of the state variables, and it has recently been shown that this may be too restrictive for nonlinear systems. Choosing the right nonlinear observable functions to form an invariant subspace where it is possible to obtain linear reduced-order models, especially those that are useful for control, is an open challenge. Here, we investigate the choice of observable functions for Koopman analysis that enable the use of optimal linear control techniques on nonlinear problems. First, to include a cost on the state of the system, as in linear quadratic regulator (LQR) control, it is helpful to include these states in the observable subspace, as in DMD. However, we find that this is only possible when there is a single isolated fixed point, as systems with multiple fixed points or more complicated attractors are not globally topologically conjugate to a finite-dimensional linear system, and cannot be represented by a finite-dimensional linear Koopman subspace that includes the state.

Fig 1. Schematic illustrating the Koopman operator for nonlinear dynamical systems.

The dashed lines from yk → xk indicate that we would like to be able to recover the original state.