Approximating the minimal sensor selection for supervisory control

Kurt R. Rohloff, Samir Khuller, Guy Kortsarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses the problem of selecting a set of sensors of minimum cost that can be used for the synthesis of a supervisory controller. It is shown how this sensor selection problem is related to a type of directed graph st-cut problem that has not been previously discussed in the literature. Approximation algorithms to solve the sensor selection problem can be used to solve the graph cutting problem and vice-versa. Polynomial time algorithms to find good approximate solutions to either problem most likely do not exist (under certain complexity assumptions), but a time efficient approximation algorithm is shown that solves a special case of these problems. It is also shown how to convert the sensor selection problem into an integer programming problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-170
Number of pages28
JournalDiscrete Event Dynamic Systems: Theory and Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This paper reports on work commenced while the first author was under the direction of Jan H. van Schuppen at CWI in Amsterdam. The first author would also like to acknowledge the helpful comments and discussions from Stéphane Lafortune of The University of Michigan. Financial support in part for the investigation was made available by the European Commission through the project Control and Computation (IST-2001-33520) of the Information Society Technologies Program and by NSF grants CCR-0082784 and CCR-0325571.


  • Approximation algorithms
  • Automata
  • Computational complexity
  • Sensor selection
  • Supervisory control


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