A nonlinear control system comprising a network of networks is taught by the use of a two-phase learning procedure realized through novel training techniques and an adaptive critic design. The neural network controller is trained algebraically, offline, by the observation that its gradients must equal corresponding linear gain matrices at chosen operating points. Online learning by a dual heuristic adaptive critic architecture optimizes performance incrementally over time by accounting for plant dynamics and nonlinear effects that are revealed during large, coupled motions. The method is implemented to control the six-degree-of-freedom simulation of a business jet aircraft over its full operating envelope. The result is a controller that improves its performance while unexpected conditions, such as unmodeled dynamics, parameter variations, and control failures, are experienced for the first time.
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