What is the definition of anti-windup? How does it impose the constraints?

What are the advantages of MPC and anti-windup over each other?

Does anti-windup guarantee the constraints or does it just try respecting them?


1 Answer 1


Anti-windup is a concept for feedback controllers with integral terms, e.g. PID, to keep the integral term from „overcharging“ when regulating a large set point error. It basically saturates the integral term to keep the system from overshooting the set point.

The classic form of anti-windup, as described above, does not actually ensure satisfaction of input or state constraints of the system, it just enforces a somewhat „auxiliary constraint“ on the integral term.

EDIT: Anti-windup can also be used to ensure satisfaction of state and input constraints by exploiting the unwanted mechanic:

The classic saturation circuit gets extended by a predictor, that predicts the state that corresponds to the control input. A possible violation of constraints can then be detected with saturation. In that case a feasible control input, i.e. a control input such that the resulting state will not violate constraints, is calculated. The details of the approach are explained in this paper.

I am not familiar enough with the above approach to directly compare Anti-windup constraint satisfaction and MPC constraint satisfaction. I read once in some lecture slides about MPC (I'll link to them when I find them again)

If PID does the job, take PID, otherwise take MPC

so now that you know how to ensure constraint satisfaction with the former, just take the one that does the job.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi @OpticalResonator. I have finally found the source where anti-windup has been used for respecting the constraints: Bolognani, Saverio, et al. "Design and implementation of model predictive control for electrical motor drives." IEEE Transactions on industrial electronics 56.6 (2009): 1925-1936. at the paragraph which says: bounds on drive variables play a key role in the dynamics of the system. Actually, two mainapproaches are available to deal with systems constraints: the conventional anti–windup techniques,with their manifold variants, widely used in the PI controllers, and MPC. $\endgroup$
    – Adams
    May 17, 2018 at 7:27
  • $\begingroup$ The reference link: pgembeddedsystems.com/securelogin/upload/project/IEEE/2/PGM_45/… $\endgroup$
    – Adams
    May 17, 2018 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Adams Right, I see what you mean. I will update my answer later today $\endgroup$ May 17, 2018 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Adams I updated my answer $\endgroup$ May 17, 2018 at 11:03

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