The developments of advanced non-linear control strategies have attracted a considerable research interests over the past decades especially in process control. Rather than an absolute reliance on mathematical models of process plants which often brings discrepancies especially owing to design errors and equipment degradation, non-linear models are however required because they provide improved prediction capabilities but they are very difficult to derive. In addition, the derivation of the global optimal solution gets more difficult especially when multivariable and non-linear systems are involved. Hence, this research investigates soft computing techniques for the implementation of a novel real time constrained non-linear model predictive controller (NMPC). The time-frequency localisation characteristics of wavelet neural network (WNN) were utilised for the non-linear models design using system identification approach from experimental data and improve upon the conventional artificial neural network (ANN) which is prone to low convergence rate and the difficulties in locating the global minimum point during training process. Salient features of particle swarm optimisation and a genetic algorithm (GA) were combined to optimise the network weights. Real time optimisation occurring at every sampling instant is achieved using a GA to deliver results both in simulations and real time implementation on coupled tank systems with further extension to a complex quadruple tank process in simulations. The results show the superiority of the novel WNN-NMPC approach in terms of the average controller energy and mean squared error over the conventional ANN-NMPC strategies and PID control strategy for both SISO and MIMO systems

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