Choice of Repeated and Bounded Adjustment Schemes
Gonzalez, Francisco J.
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An important problem in process adjustment using feedback is how often to sample the process and when and by how much to apply an adjustment. Minimum-cost feedback schemes based on simple, but practically interesting, models for disturbances and dynamics have been discussed in several particular cases. The more general situation in which there may be measurement and adjustment errors, deterministic process drift, and costs of taking an observation, of making an adjustment, and of being off target, is considered in this article. Assuming all these costs to be known, a numerical method to minimize the overall expected cost is presented. This numerical method provides the optimal sampling interval, action limits, and amount of adjustment; and the resulting average adjustment interval, mean squared deviation from target, and minimum overall expected cost. When the costs of taking an observation, of making an adjustment, and of being off target are not known, the method can be used to choose a particular scheme by judging the advantages and disadvantages of alternative options considering the mean squared deviation they produce the frequency with which they require observations to be made, and the resulting overall length of time between adjustments. Computer codes that perform the required computations are provided in the appendices and applied to find optimal adjustment schemes in three real examples of application.