 
Summary: The Center for Control, Dynamical Systems, and Computation
University of California at Santa Barbara
Spring 2010 Seminar Series
Presents
Measures of Unobservability
Art Krener
UC Davis
Friday, May 21, 2010, 3:00 4:00pm WEBB 1100
Abstract:
An observed nonlinear dynamics is observable if the mapping from initial condition to output trajectory is one to
one. The standard tool for checking observability is the observability rank condition but this only gives a yes or
no answer. It does not measure how observable or unobservable the system is. Moreover it requires the ability
to differentiate the dynamics and the observations. We introduce new tools, the local unobservability index and
the local estimation condition number, to measure the degree of observability or unobservability of a system. To
compute these one only needs the ability to simulate the system. We apply these tools to find the best location
to put a sensor to observe the flow induced by two point vortices.
About the Speaker:
Arthur J. Krener received the PhD in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1971. From
1971 to 2006 he was at the University of California, Davis. He retired in 2006 as a Distinguished Professor of
Mathematics. Currently he is a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics at
