Robust Subspace System Identification via Weighted Nuclear Norm Optimization

Dorsa Sadigh, Henrik Ohlsson, S. Shankar Sastry, Sanjit A. Seshia

Subspace identification is a classical and very well studied problem in system identification. The problem was recently posed as a convex optimization problem via the nuclear norm relaxation. Inspired by robust PCA, we extend this framework to handle outliers. The proposed framework takes the form of a convex optimization problem with an objective that trades off fit, rank and sparsity. As in robust PCA, it can be problematic to find a suitable regularization parameter. We show how the space in which a suitable parameter should be sought can be limited to a bounded open set of the two dimensional parameter space. In practice, this is very useful since it restricts the parameter space that is needed to be surveyed.

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