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Available online at ScienceDirect IFAC-PapersOnLine 49-11 (2016) 730–735 Engine Model Calibration

Available online at


IFAC-PapersOnLine 49-11 (2016) 730–735

ScienceDirect IFAC-PapersOnLine 49-11 (2016) 730–735 Engine Model Calibration Using Extremum Seeking Qingyuan Tan

Engine Model Calibration Using Extremum Seeking

Qingyuan Tan Prasad Divekar Ying Tan Xiang Chen Ming Zheng

University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, N9B 3P4, Canada (e-mail: The University of Melbourne, Parkville,VIC, 3010, Australia

Abstract: This work demonstrates the application of the extremum seeking method for model cali- bration. A nonlinear, first-principle engine model is simplified for implementation in real-time control. A semi-empirical correlation is used for estimation of the wall heat transfer in the simplified engine model. The heat transfer coefficient is tuned using the extremum seeking approach to minimize the error between measurement and modeled cylinder pressure. Engine steady state measurement results are used for the demonstration and validation of the proposed technique.

© 2016, IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control) Hosting by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Extremum seeking, engine model, model calibration, measurement, nonlinear system.


The increasingly stringent government regulations on tail-pipe emissions and the customer demands for higher fuel efficiency have become the motivation for the development of present day automotive internal combustion engines. As a result, multiple actuators and sensors as well as new control strategies have been added to the engine system. The current engine system has become an extremely complicated nonlinear multi-input and multi-output system, Zhu et al. (2015).

Engine control unit (ECU) based control strategies have been developed for decades. In addition to the increased hardware integration, engine control has become the key factor in im- proving the engine performance and reducing engine output emissions. Presently the dominant engine control strategies are look-up table based. Values of the look-up tables are generated, tuned, and then stored on the ECU during the engine and ve- hicle calibration stage. When deployed in a real world appli- cation interpolation between the tables is carried out to gen- erate actuator control commands. Considering the existence of nonlinearities, as well as the cross multi-dimensional coupling between all engine hardware and subsystems, the experimental based mapping procedure for look-up table generation is both time and effort intensive, Zhu et al. (2015).

To reduce the development time and the cost involved in the engine calibration process, implementation of closed-loop con- trol strategies is desirable. However, the number of production level sensors is required to be as low as possible, from the engine cost perspective. Therefore, using model-based control with calibrated models is preferred. In Ma et al. (2011), model- based control is used for engine variable valve actuation (VVA) control. Both the exhaust valve actuator model and engine in- cylinder pressure model have been used by the authors. In Wang et al. (2006), an engine air-to-fuel (AFR) model is developed for the control of stoichiometric AFR inside a gasoline engine. The model is constructed using neural network modeling tech- nique and is calibrated on-line. In Rajaei et al. (2010) a two-

stage exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve model is designed for the control of the EGR ratio.

Model accuracy for model-based control strategies is important. An inaccurate model would usually require the design of a more conservative controller to guarantee the overall system robustness. This would sacrifice the system response time and diminish certain system performance indices.

In order to take full advantage of advanced model-based control strategies the improvement of model accuracy through model calibration is required. To guarantee robustness and shorten the prototyping time of model calibration the authors propose an extremum seeking (ES) based model calibration method for engine model parameter tuning. ES has been applied for engine calibration. In Popovic et al, (2006), ES is used to identify the optimized spark triggering time, intake valve opening time, and exhaust valve closing time to minimized the brake specific fuel consumption of the test gasoline engine setup. An optimized spark phasing and cam phasing map is generated with the application of ES. In Corti et al. (2013), air-fuel ratio and spark timing is calibrated using ES to optimize the exhaust manifold temperature and to reduce the load variation between engine cycles. In these work, the calibration focus were to generate a map which can be used to determine optimized set point for the system. In this work, the calibration focus is to generate model parameters which would make the model performance close to engine performance. To minimize the computation effort a simplified engine model is first described. ES based calibration is then applied using a cost function designed to minimize the difference between model and measurement outputs.


ES ,


Exhaust gas recirculation Extremum seeking

[ O 2 ] int , Oxygen concentration at the intake manifold

R , n i , y ,

Molar EGR ratio Number of moles of i of the intake charge Intake molar gas quantity

2405-8963 © 2016, IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control) Hosting by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Peer review under responsibility of International Federation of Automatic Control.


Qingyuan Tan et al. / IFAC-PapersOnLine 49-11 (2016) 730–735




Exhaust molar gas quantity

expression for the molar concentration of oxygen in the intake,



Remainder of the intake charge

denoted by [ O 2 int ] , is shown in (4)

n f ,

m f ,


γ ,

Q hr ,

Q t f ,

Fuel molar quantity

Fuel mass quantity Fuel lower heating value Specific heat ratio







In-cylinder pressure



In-cylinder averaged temperature

W ,

Output work from cylinder


Cylinder bore

T wall ,

Cylinder wall temperature


hrMAX , Peak heat release value within one engine cycle



Transient cylinder displacement volume

V c ,

Cylinder clearance volume


d ,

Cylinder total displacement volume



Connecting rod length



Crank radius


The engine model is divided into two sub-models based on the physical system structure: the air-path model and the closed- cycle model. The air-path model captures the interaction be- tween the intake fresh air and the recirculated engine exhaust gas. It provides the initial gas compositions for the closed- cycle model. The closed-cycle model represents the in-cylinder thermodynamic processes including piston work, combustion, and heat transfer.

3.1 Air-Path Process

The EGR level is expressed in terms of the mole fraction of the re-circulated exhaust gas in the intake manifold. The detailed air-path model has been presented in the authors’ previous work, Divekar et al. (2013). The model is briefly listed here for completeness. An EGR path molar balance is conducted to quantify the mole fractions of the EGR affected intake charge:

R = y z


where, z , is the moles of fresh air, y is the total in-cylinder moles of air and recirculated combustion products, x is total moles of combustion products. In order to evaluate the combustion products for the air-path section of the engine model, the combustion chemistry is expressed solely as conversion of reactants into products:

n f · C α 1 H α 2 O α 3 + n O 2 · O 2 + n N 2 · N 2 + n CO 2 · CO 2 + n H 2 O · H 2 O


= (n CO 2 + α 1 n f ) · CO 2 + n H 2 O + α 2 n f · H 2 O


+ n N 2 · N 2 + n O 2 + α 3 n f α 1 n f α 2 n f · O 2






Here, n f is the moles of fuel (C α 1 H α 2 O α 3 ), n N 2 is the moles of nitrogen, n O 2 is the moles of oxygen, n CO 2 is the moles of carbon-di-oxide, and n H 2 O is the moles of water in the intake charge. The derivation of expressions for individual intake charge species can thus be obtained. For instance, the

y = n N 2 + n O 2 + n CO 2 + n H 2 O .


O 2 int ] =

77 + R · α 3 α 1 α 2 · n f






( 1 R ) · y



Emission performance results from previous studies have sug- gested the suitability of indicating the EGR effectiveness by

[ O 2 int ] , Asad et al. (2013). Moreover, Eq. 4 specifies the EGR ratio in terms of quantities that are typically available in the ECU (Guzzella et al. (1998)). z is measured using the mass air flow (MAF) sensor. y is calculated from the speed-density equation, (Heywood (1988)), while n f is determined from the pre-calibrated fuel quantity delivered via the fuel injector.

3.2 Closed Cycle Process

The air-path calculations, that mostly depend on sensor infor- mation, determine the initial conditions at ( θ IVC ) for the closed cycle engine process, wherein the first law of thermodynamics and the ideal gas law are combined to complete the model, Hey- wood (1988). The evolution of temperature ( T ) and pressure ( p ) in the combustion chamber can be developed from the first law of thermodynamics (energy balance).

T ( θ k ) = T ( θ k 1 ) + A · [Q hr ( θ k ) Q ht ( θ k ) W pv ( θ k )] , (5)

A = γ ( T ) 1


R · y



γ ( T ( θ k )) γ ( T ( θ k )) 1 .


( θ k ) = p ( θ k 1 ) ·

θ k 1 )

T (




T (


The heat transfer Q ht is modeled using Woschni’s correlation as,

Q ht ( θ ) =

h w ( θ ) · A s ( θ ) · T ( θ ) T wall ,


h w ( θ ) = C scaling · B 0 . 2 · p 0 . 8 · T ( θ ) 0 . 55 · w ( θ ) 0 . 8 ,


w ( θ ) = C 1 · S p + C 2

V d · T re f

p re f · V re f

p ( θ ) p mot ( θ ) . (10)

Q hr , the heat release rate, is approximated using a triangular shape function to simulate the energy addition rate by burning of the fuel mass, m f uel .

Q hr =


2 Q hrMAX



( θ θ SOC )

2 Q hrMAX



( θ θ CA50 ) + Q hrMAX


Q hrMAX = m f uel · LHV

θ CD

W pv , piston work is expressed as:







W pv ( θ k ) = p ( θ k )[V ( θ k ) V ( θ k 1 )] ,

V is the cylinder volume, which is calculated from the slider- crank mechanism.



Qingyuan Tan et al. / IFAC-PapersOnLine 49-11 (2016) 730–735

V ( θ ) = V c + V d 1 + a cos( θ ) a 2 sin 2 ( θ ) .







γ is the specific heat ratio. In order to simplify the compu- tational load γ is estimated using a cylinder gas temperature dependent linear approximation,

γ (θ ) = γ ( θ IVC ) ρ T ( θ )

The heat transfer coefficients h w , A s , C 1 , and C 2 are pre- calibrated to match the engine setup, while the geometry pa- rameters V d , V c , l , and a are constants for the test engine. The heat transfer coefficient C scaling is a scaling factor which is tuned to match a specific engine geometry and engine working condition.


For the model listed above the mean piston speed, S p , and the

reference parameters T wall , T re f , p re f , V re f , and p mot depend on


the external system inputs. R is the universal gas constant. The maximum heat release during combustion is defined as Q hrMAX . θ CA 50 is the location of 50% fuel combustion, m f uel is the total fuel mass, LHV is the lower heating value of the fuel, θ SOC is

the location where combustion starts at, and θ CD is defined as the combustion duration. For the simplified specific heat ratio definition, ρ is the linear fit coefficient.


4.1 General ES Structure

Extremum seeking (ES) is a model free gradient-based opti- mization method which has been used in a number of automo- tive related studies Corti et al. (2013), Haskara et al, (2006), Killingsworth et al, (2009), Popovic et al, (2006), Sugihira et al, (2007).

ES runs iteratively and the optimization process is to guide the system output cost function to an extremum (minimum or maximum) by tuning the selected system control input based on the system steady-state response, Young et al, (2002). The general ES structure is shown in Fig. 1. ES would first initiate perturbation on the system input by adding a dither signal to it. The output from the system is used to construct a cost function. The gradient of the cost function can be extracted by ES through demodulation and the interaction with a series of embedded filters.

and the interaction with a series of embedded filters. Fig. 1. Generic ES structure The ES

Fig. 1. Generic ES structure

The ES cost function designed based on system output has been assumed to have an asymptotically stable equilibrium, Young

et al, (2002). The behavior of the cost function is usually

unknown and ES is able to determine the optimum control input from the cost function convergence based on the available measurement from the system.

4.2 Perturbation Based ES for Model Calibration

The current work adopts the model-free optimization scheme of ES to calibrate model parameters. Calibration of the model parameters is conducted by designing a cost function that evaluates the difference between the measured plant output and the model output. ES is then used to modulate the model parameters such that the cost function reaches a local minimum. Guidelines based on experience and literature review are used to select the initial model parameter value, such that the local minimum identified by the ES is in fact the global minimum.

The discrete perturbation based ES structure is adopted in this work. For the discrete perturbation based ES three parame- ters are usually tuned to improve convergence, the oscillation

frequency of the dither signal ω , the amplitude of the dither signal α , and the adaptive gain γ . Since ES is applicable with steady-state input and output from the system, the choice of the dither signal frequency is related to the system response dynamics. If the system responds quickly the dither ω value can be very large as the system is always working at a ”steady-state” relative to the dynamic of the dither signal. If this is true, the ES iterations would run faster thus less time is needed before the ES can converge. Both the dither amplitude and the adaptive gain values are to determine the ES searching step amplitude ES. If the step sizes are large the ES convergence time can be shortened. However the optimum performance might also be overlooked as it could lie within the range of two consecutive searching steps.

lie within the range of two consecutive searching steps. Fig. 2. Model calibration structure The structure

Fig. 2. Model calibration structure

The structure of the perturbation based ES for model calibration is shown in Fig. 2. From the structure it can be seen that

a sinusoidal dither signal a × sin ( ω · kt ) is added on to the

updated system input θ . The cost function is constructed using the system measurement and is determined as J ( θ ) . The cost

function is first applied to a high pass filter z 1

+ h and the results is

multiplied by the sinusoidal signal b × sin ( ω · kt ) . This process will generate an estimate of the gradient of the cost function

before the integrator

1 . The integrator utilizes this input to

update θ in the tendency of driving the gradient to zero. If






γ is positive θ will drive the cost function to its closest local


minimum, whereas γ is negative θ will make the cost function

to approach its closest local maximum.

Qingyuan Tan et al. / IFAC-PapersOnLine 49-11 (2016) 730–735


4.3 Cost function design

ES is used for engine model parameter calibration to improve the heat transfer prediction using the simplified engine model. The difference between engine measurement and model output is used for the cost function design. The engine, in this case, is considered as an unknown system. Since the engine model is first-principle based a ’best fit’ of the model output to the engine output is to be expected given appropriate model parameters. Therefore, under this scenario, the application of ES for engine model calibration is appropriate.

As mentioned previously, the simplification of the in-cylinder sub-model would introduce uncertainty to the overall engine model. The in-cylinder process is the duration when the com- plicated thermodynamic processes take place. It determines the amount and species of tail-pipe emissions. Therefore the capability of the model to accurately estimate this process is important. Certain model parameters need to be tuned to close the gap between the model and the real engine. In this work the C scaling is the chosen parameter to tune using ES, as it adjusts the model wall heat transfer performance which affects the in- cylinder temperature and pressure changes.

The engine in-cylinder process is reflected by the engine in- cylinder pressure. Therefore the calibration target is to match the pressure traces acquired from the measurement and the model. Due to the simplification of the heat release process, the matching of the pressure traces during the combustion process (from θ SOC to θ SOC + θ CD ) is very difficult. Furthermore the heat released during combustion (usually lasts for 10-30 crank angle degrees) contributes a relatively small portion of the total heat transfer compared to the total heat transferred within one engine cycle. Therefore the pressure matching during this period is inferior to the pressure matching of the rest of the in- cylinder pressure trace. For the cost function design, to diminish the influence of the in-cylinder pressure during combustion, the difference between measured and modeled pressure are divided by the corresponding measured pressure value. As the absolute pressure values are usually higher during combustion, the amplitude ratio contributed by this portion of data to the cost function will be of a smaller value. In this work, the cost function is defined as:



θ = θ IVC


P mea P model | P mea



An elastic coefficients is used to adjust the amplitude of the cost function values during the calibration as to cope with the ES parameters.

J ( θ ) =

4.4 Experimental setup

The engine tests were conducted on a single cylinder Ford Puma common-rail diesel engine. The original four cylinder production engine was modified to run in a three motoring and one research cylinder configuration. The specification of the research cylinder can be found in Table 1. The three motoring cylinders operate in the traditional diesel combustion mode to motor the research cylinder. Independent intake, exhaust, and fuel supply paths have been set-up in the laboratory for the research cylinder. An eddy current dynamometer dissipates the engine load and regulates the engine speed. During the engine test, the engine speed is held constant at 1500 rpm. An AVL

Table 1. 4-Cylinder Ford DuraTorq ”Puma” Diesel Engine


1998 cm 3

Bore x Stroke

86 mm x 86 mm

Compression ratio

18.2 : 1

Max cylinder pressure

180 bar

Injection system

Common-rail system (up to 1600 bar)

Intake valve open

690 o CA

Intake valve close

250 o CA

Exhaust valve open

498 o CA

Exhaust valve close

68 o CA

pressure transducer is mounted on the research cylinder head for in-cylinder pressure recording.


In this work, to demonstrate the effectiveness of ES for engine model calibration, a single input ES study is presented. More sophisticated multiple input ES can be expanded from this work using a similar idea for the cost function design. In this study, the engine model has all the model parameters pre-calibrated except for the heat transfer scaling factor (C scaling ).

Engine cyclic injected fuel quantity, fuel injection timing, en- gine speed, boost pressure, intake manifold temperature, and EGR are used as the external user defined input which are ap- plied to the model directly. The external inputs are held constant during the ES calibration to create an engine steady-state input- output condition for the ES.

Cylinder pressure traces are selected for the ES cost function design, (16). As demonstrated in Fig. 3 and Fig. 4 two sets of engine test data are shown here to present the process of ES model calibration. The data sets are obtained from measurements conducted under two different conditions: one is under motoring condition and the other running at 6.6 bar IMEP. The cost function values plotted in the two figures have been modulated by the elastic coefficient.

In Fig. 3 the model C scaling was adjusted by ES from its initial value to a value around 5.9 (average value of the converged

C scaling trace). To achieve fast convergence, the dither signal

amplitude is set relatively high in this study. One downside of this setting is that it would cause a large residual error once ES converges. The cost function constructed by the difference ratio between the measurement and modeled output would decrease as C scaling converges, Fig. 3.

Similarly, the ES calibration using engine test data obtained under 6.6 bar IMEP is also shown in Fig. 4. Once converged, the average of the model C scaling identified by ES is 3 . 9. The departure of the C scaling value from the one obtained in the previous ES calibration is the result of the simplification of the heat release sub-model and specific heat ratio as well as the uncertainty of other model parameters.

In Table 2 model calibration results are shown for engine pres- sure measurement conducted under different loads (as illus- trated of differences in IMEP values), boost level, and EGR ratios. The table lists the cost function values obtained after convergence has been achieved during the calibration. The number of ES searching cycles required for achieving the con- vergence have also been presented. The actual time of conver- gence depends on both the computational resources and the


Qingyuan Tan et al. / IFAC-PapersOnLine 49-11 (2016) 730–735

Table 2. Model calibration results

Speed (rpm)

IMEP (bar)

EGR (%)

Boost (kpa)



Cost function (ES)

Cost function (Ref.)

ES cycles to convergence

















































1500 7.3 59 102.4 2.9 10.8 9.9 240 Fig. 3. Calibrated heat release profile using ES,

Fig. 3. Calibrated heat release profile using ES, motoring trace.The cost function values have been modulated by an elastic coefficient.

values have been modulated by an elastic coefficient. Fig. 4. Calibrated heat release profile using ES,

Fig. 4. Calibrated heat release profile using ES, 6.6 bar IMEP. The cost function values have been modulated by an elastic coefficient.

Qingyuan Tan et al. / IFAC-PapersOnLine 49-11 (2016) 730–735


number of cycles to converge. In general, the time consumption

is proportional to the number of ES convergence cycles.

A heuristic approach has been adopted in parallel to the ES cali-

bration to evaluate the validity of the ES results. In the heuristic model calibration, one C scaling is selected to best fit the cylinder pressure trace at motoring conditions for varying intake boost conditions. Combustion conditions are not considered during this approach as it introduces several degrees of complexity and the manual model calibration would be extremely tedious. For the test engine and for intake boost ranging from 0.3 bar abs to 1.3 bar abs, it was observed that a C scaling of 3.5 yields

acceptable model performance. The cost function values ob- tained (16) using the heuristic approach are also listed in Table 2 in the Cost function (Ref.) column. It was observed that the automated ES calibration method was able to obtain similar results by adopting a different C scaling for different operating points and the converged cost function value is comparable to those obtained using the heuristic approach, Table 2. However, since the ES tuning requires only limited or no knowledge of the system, the overall parameter calibration effort has been significantly reduced.

To make the model perform more accurately, multiple model parameters can be introduced to the ES calibration structure shown in Fig. 2 as ES output. A multiple parameter ES can

be applied to replace the single parameter ES structure used

in the current study. Moreover due to the data-driven nature of

ES, the model calibration process can also be applied online

in real-time. In the authors’ lab, the time consumption for one

iteration of the simplified engine model calculation is around 10 ms, each iteration of ES searching consumes less than 0.1 ms to complete. From the model calibration results shown in Table 2 all the calibration examples converge within 170 ES cycles. This further demonstrates a positive potential to adopt this technique for real-time model calibration.


This paper presents a engine model calibration technique using ES. A first-principle based simplified engine model is proposed as the target model to approximate the thermodynamic pro- cesses of the engine setup built in the authors’ lab. A cost function designed using both measurement and modeled data is used for the ES structure to locate the optimum model parame- ter. Expanding the ES structure adaptable to multiple parameter

tuning is also proposed as a future prospect for the development

of this technique.


The research at the Clean Diesel Engine Laboratory is spon- sored by the Canada Research Chair program, NSERC, CFI, OIT, AUTO21, the University of Windsor, Ford Motor Com- pany, and other OEMs.


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