A contractive approach to separable Lyapunov functions for monotone systems

S. Coogan
Automatica, Aug. 2019


Monotone systems preserve a partial ordering of states along system trajectories and are often amenable to separable Lyapunov functions that are either the sum or the maximum of a collection of functions of a scalar argument. In this paper, we consider constructing separable Lyapunov functions for monotone systems that are also contractive, that is, the distance between any pair of trajectories exponentially decreases. The distance is defined in terms of a possibly state-dependent norm. When this norm is a weighted one-norm, we obtain conditions which lead to sum-separable Lyapunov functions, and when this norm is a weighted infinity-norm, symmetric conditions lead to max-separable Lyapunov functions. In addition, we consider two classes of Lyapunov functions: the first class is separable along the system's state, and the second class is separable along components of the system's vector field. The latter case is advantageous for many practically motivated systems for which it is difficult to measure the system's state but easier to measure the system's velocity or rate of change. In addition, we present an algorithm based on sum-of-squares programming to compute such separable Lyapunov functions. We provide several examples to demonstrate our results.