 Research
 Open Access
The calculation of discriminating kernel based on viability kernel and reachability
 Yanli Han^{1, 2} and
 Yan Gao^{1}Email author
https://doi.org/10.1186/s1366201714292
© The Author(s) 2017
 Received: 7 June 2017
 Accepted: 17 November 2017
 Published: 25 November 2017
Abstract
We discuss the calculation of discriminating kernel for the discretetime dynamic game and continuoustime dynamic game (namely differential game) using the viability kernel and reachable set. For the discretetime dynamic game, we give an approximation of the viability kernel by the maximal reachable set. Then, based on the relationship between viability and discriminating kernels, we propose an algorithm of the discriminating kernel. For the differential game, we compute an underapproximation of the viability kernel by the backward reachable set from a closed target. Then, we put forward an algorithm of the discriminating kernel using the relationship of the discriminating and viability kernels. This means that the victory domain can be computed because it is computed by the discriminating kernel. The novelty is that we give two algorithms of the discriminating kernel for a dynamic game that contains two control variables, not one control variable as in differential inclusion.
Keywords
 dynamic game
 viability kernel
 discriminating kernel
 nonsmooth analysis
 reachability
1 Introduction
As an important part of control theory, game theory pours attention into economics, social, political science, and other behavioral sciences. Game theory aims to help us understand situations in which decision makers interact. A dynamic game usually consists of two players, the pursuer and the evader, with conflicting goals. Each player attempts to control the states of the system so as to achieve his goal. Although dynamic games are closely related to optimal control problems, there is a little difference between the two: there is a single control input \(u(t)\) and a single criterion to be optimized in an optimal control problem, and dynamic game theory generalizes this to two control inputs \(u(t)\), \(v(t)\) and two criteria. In [1], quantitative and qualitative differential game problems are discussed using setvalued analysis and viability theory. In the case of a twoplayer differential game, the value function is computed by determining the discriminating kernel for the game. In [2], a twoplayer zerosum differential game with incomplete information on the initial state is investigated. In [3], a twoplayer zerosum differential game with infinitely many initial positions and without Isaacs condition is proposed. By optimal transportation theory and stochastic control, there exists a value of the game with such random strategies. In [4], a bounded discriminating domain for linear pursuitevasion differential game is studied. For a constraint set K, the discriminating kernel \(\operatorname {Disc}(K)\) is the largest subset of the discriminating domain K.
Viability theory is used to study stability, reachability, and dynamic games. The research of such questions for differential inclusions has started with the pioneering works of Aubin [5]. A presentation of viability kernels and capture basins of a target viable in a constrained subset satisfying tangential conditions or duality and normal conditions is provided in [6]. In [7], a method to construct viability kernels is given. In [8], an algorithm suited to the identification of specific trajectories or to the computation of viability kernels associated with delayed dynamics is proposed. In [9], based on the proximal normal cone, the method to verify the viability of approximate viable set for continuoustime and discretetime linear systems is given. The problem of viable controller design is formulated as a problem of linear inequalities. In [10], an algorithm that computes the approximating viability kernel of a discretetime system is proposed. In [11], it is shown that determining the viability of a polytopic set expressed by a convex hull of finitely many points can be transformed into verifying the viability criteria at vertices without the assumption that the input set is a polytope, which is needed in the existing criteria.
Reachability analysis is an essential problem of control systems. The goal of reachability analysis is to compute the set of reachable states in the state space for a given model and a set of initial states. In [12], the notions of maximal and minimal reachability are introduced. The reachability analysis of a linear control system is discussed in [13]. The main contribution is that its sets of initial states and inputs are given by arbitrary convex compact sets represented by their support functions. In [14], an efficient and scalable maximal reachability technique to compute the continual reachable set is introduced. At the same time, an approximation of this set based on ellipsoidal techniques is presented. In [15], a method to compute overapproximations of the reachable set for nonlinear dynamic systems using trajectory piecewise linearized models is proposed. The method makes it possible to analyze highorder nonlinear dynamic systems based on existing methods for reachability analysis of linear dynamic systems.
Reachability analysis and viability theory provide solid frameworks for control system of constrained dynamical systems in a setvalued fashion [5, 16]. In [16], the computation of viability kernels using Lagrangian methods is discussed. In [17], an algorithm for computing the set of reachable states of a continuous dynamic game is discussed. There is a close relationship between constrained reachability [18] and viability theory [19]. The relationship is often discussed in the context of optimal control theory by formulating both viability problems and reachability in terms of the HamiltonJacobi equations [20].
Motivated by the method in [21], the discriminating kernel of the discretetime game and differential game is researched. Firstly, an approximation of the viability kernel for the discrete dynamic game is computed by the maximal reachable set from a closed target. Then, an algorithm of the discriminating kernel is given. Secondly, an underapproximation of the viability kernel for the differential game is computed by the backward reachable set from a closed target. Then, an algorithm of the discriminating kernel is proposed. Finally, using the alternative theorem, the victory domain can be computed. The difference is that we give an algorithm of the discriminating kernel for a discretetime dynamic game or differential game that contains two control variables, not one control variable as in differential inclusion.
The paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, we introduce some basic concepts and notation of reachability and game theory. In Section 3, we discuss the discriminating kernel of a discrete differential game. In Section 4, we study the discriminating kernel of a continuous differential game.
2 Preliminaries
In the following, we review some preliminaries; for detailed discussions, see the monographs [5, 22–24] and the references therein.
Definition 1
Let x be a point of a closed set \(S\subset\mathrm{R}^{n}\). A proximal normal to S at x is a vector \(p\subset\mathrm{R}^{n}\) satisfying \(d_{S}(x+p)= \Vert p \Vert \), where \(d_{S}(y)\) is the distance between y and S, that is, \(d_{S}(y)=\inf_{s\in S} \Vert ys \Vert \). The set of all such p is denoted by \(NP_{S}(x)\).
Definition 2
Definition 3
Suppose that \(H:X\times X\rightarrow R\) is a lower semicontinuous map. Any closed set \(D\subset X\) contains a largest (closed) discriminating domain for f. The set, denoted by \(\operatorname{Disc}_{f}(D)\), is called the discriminating kernel of D for f.
Definition 4
Definition 5
A map \(f: X\times U\times W\rightarrow X\) describes a control system. If f is continuous with linear growth, \(U, W\) are nonempty and compact, and for all \(x\in X\), \(F(x)=\bigcup_{u}G(x,u)\) is convex, where \(G(x,u)=\bigcup_{d}f(x,u,d)\), then F is a Marchaud map.
Proposition 1
Proposition 2
A closed set \(S\subset\mathrm {R}^{n}\) is a discriminating domain of (1) if and only if S is viable for the setvalued mapping \(x\rightrightarrows\bigcup_{u\in U}G(x,u)\).
From Propositions 1 and 2 we get the following conclusion.
For the interior point of D, we have \(T_{D}(x)=\mathrm{R}^{n}\). So, we just need to distinguish the boundary point of D for (3).
In the following, we discuss the discriminating kernels of the discretetime dynamic and of the differential game.
3 Discriminating kernel of a discrete system
Theorem 1
Proof
The constrained difference system (4) can be written as the difference inclusion \(x(t+1)\in F(x(t))\), where \(F(x)=\{ f(x,u,d)\vert u\in U,d\in W\}\). Next, we will prove that \(x\in S_{k+1}\) is equal to \(x\in S_{k}\cap\operatorname{Reach}_{1}^{m}(S_{k})\). By the definition of \(S_{k+1}\), when \(x\in S_{k+1}\), we have \(x\in S_{k}\) and \(S_{k}\cap F(x)\neq\emptyset\). \(S_{k}\cap F(x)\neq \emptyset\) means that there exists y such that \(y\in S_{k}\) and \(y\in F(x)\). Moreover, \(F(x)=\bigcup_{u}G(x,u)\), where \(G(x,u)=\bigcup_{d}f(x,u,d)\), and thus there exists \(u\in U\) such that \(y=f(x,u,d)\) for all \(d\in W\). So, there exists \(u\in U\) such that \(f(x,u,d)\in S_{k}\) for all \(d\in W\). By (5), \(x\in\operatorname {Reach}_{1}^{m}(S_{k})\), and since \(x\in S_{k}\), we have that \(x\in S_{k}\cap\operatorname{Reach}_{1}^{m}(S_{k})\).
This means that \(S_{k+1}=S_{k}\cap\operatorname {Reach}_{1}^{m}(S_{k})\). In the following, we will prove that \(S_{k}\cap\operatorname{Reach}_{1}^{m}(S_{k})=S_{0}\cap\operatorname {Reach}_{1}^{m}(S_{k})\) by induction.
Proposition 3
The proof of Proposition 3 can seen from the proof of [1, Proposition 4.8] or [26, Theorem 4].
Example 1
Now, we have the figures of the process of computing the discriminating kernel.
4 Discriminating kernel of continuous system
4.1 Viability kernel
Next, we discuss the viability kernel \(\operatorname{Viab}_{f(x,u,W)}\) using the reachability. There are two ways to deal with the reachability problem: computing the forward reachable set and the backward reachable set. Here, we use the backward approach.
Definition 6
Definition 6 gives the backward reachable set from the closed target K, which consists of the terminal states over \([0,\tau ]\) with finite horizon τ.
Definition 7
The vector function \(f:\mathrm {R}^{m+n}\rightarrow\mathrm{R}^{n}\) is bounded by \(M>0\) on S in the norm \(\Vert \cdot \Vert :\mathrm{R}^{n}\rightarrow R^{+}\) if for all \(x\in S\), \(u\in U\), and \(d\in W\), we have \(\Vert f(x,u,d) \Vert \leq M\); \(\Vert \cdot \Vert \)distance of a point \(x\in\mathrm{R}^{n}\) from a nonempty set \(S\subset\mathrm{R}^{n}\) is \(\operatorname{dist}_{ \Vert \cdot \Vert }(x,S)=\inf_{s\in S} \Vert xs \Vert \).
Theorem 2
Proof
The proof is similar to that of [21, Theorem 2]. This completes the proof of the theorem. □
Theorem 3
Proof
The proof is similar to that of [21, Theorem 3]. This completes the proof of the theorem. □
4.2 Discriminating kernel
When W is a finite point set, that is, \(W=\{d_{1},\dots ,d_{l},d_{i}\in\mathrm{R}^{m},l<\infty\}\), the algorithm is as follows.
Example 2

When \(W=\{1\}\),$$\begin{gathered} \mathbb{T}=0.2056,\qquad \operatorname {Disc}_{f}(S)=[0,0.4]\times[0,0.4], \\ \mathbb{T}=0.0350, \qquad \operatorname {Disc}_{f}(S)=[0,0.9]\times[0,0.9], \\ \mathbb{T}=0.0020, \qquad \operatorname {Disc}_{f}(S)=[0,0.99]\times[0,0.99]. \end{gathered} $$

When \(W=\{2\}\),$$\begin{gathered} \mathbb{T}=0.1243,\qquad \operatorname {Disc}_{f}(S)=[0,0.4]\times[0,0.4], \\ \mathbb{T}=0.0201, \qquad \operatorname {Disc}_{f}(S)=[0,0.9]\times[0,0.9], \\ \mathbb{T}=0.0014,\qquad \operatorname {Disc}_{f}(S)=[0,0.99]\times[0,0.99]. \end{gathered} $$

When \(W=\{1,2\}\),$$\begin{gathered} \mathbb{T}=0.1243, \qquad \operatorname {Disc}_{f}(S)=[0,0.4]\times[0,0.4], \\ \mathbb{T}=0.0201, \qquad \operatorname {Disc}_{f}(S)=[0,0.9]\times[0,0.9], \\ \mathbb{T}=0.0014, \qquad \operatorname {Disc}_{f}(S)=[0,0.99]\times[0,0.99]. \end{gathered} $$
Remark
(Alternative Theorem)
 1.
The victory domain of player 2 is \(\operatorname{Disc}_{f}(S)\).
 2.
The victory domain player 1 is \(S\setminus\operatorname{Disc}_{f}(S)\).
If we can compute \(\operatorname{Disc}_{f}(S)\), we can get the victory domains of player 1 and player 2 using Alternative Theorem.
5 Conclusions
In this paper, we discussed the discriminating kernel of the dynamic game with two targets and two players. On the one hand, we discussed the discriminating kernel of a discretetime dynamic game. Using setvalued analysis and viability theory, we computed an approximation of the viability kernel by the maximal reachable set. Then, we proposed an algorithm of the discriminating kernel. On the other hand, we discussed the discriminating kernel of a differential game. We computed an underapproximation of the viability kernel by the backward reachable set from a closed target. Using the relationship of discriminating kernel and viability kernel, we proposed an algorithm of the discriminating kernel. In the future work, we will consider the calculation of the kernels of a convex polytope, an ellipsoid, and so on.
Declarations
Acknowledgements
This work was supported by National Science Foundation of China (11171221), Doctoral Program Foundation of Institutions of Higher Education of China (20123120110004), Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (14ZR1429200), Innovation Program of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission (15ZZ073), and Key Research Project Plan of Institutions of Higher of Henan Province(17A120010). The authors would like to thank the anonymous referees for their useful comments.
Authors’ contributions
Both authors contributed equally to the manuscript, read, and approved the final manuscript.
Competing interests
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Authors’ Affiliations
References
 Cardaliaguet, P, Quincampoix, M, Pierre, PS: Setvalued numerical analysis for optimal control and differential games. Ann. Internat. Soc. Dynam. Games 4, 177247 (1999) MathSciNetMATHGoogle Scholar
 Cardaliaguet, P, Jimenez, C, Quincampoix, M: Pure and random strategies in differential game with incomplete informations. J. Dyn. Games 1, 363375 (2014) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Jimenez, C, Quincampoix, M, Xu, Y: Differential games with incomplete information on a continuum of initial positions and without Isaacs condition. Dyn. Games Appl. 6, 115 (2016) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Han, Y, Gao, Y: Determining discriminating domain for linear differential games. Control Decis. 30, 13291332 (2015) (in Chinese) Google Scholar
 Aubin, JP: Viability Theory, pp. 172. Springer, Berlin (2011) View ArticleGoogle Scholar
 Aubin, JP: Viability kernels and capture basins of sets under differential inclusions. SIAM J. Control Optim. 40, 853881 (2001) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Turriff, J, Broucke, ME: A method to construct viability kernels for nonlinear control systems. In: American Control Conference, pp. 39833988 (2009) Google Scholar
 Bonneuil, N: Computing the viability kernel in large state dimension. J. Math. Anal. Appl. 323, 14441454 (2006) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Chen, Z, Gao, Y: Computation of approximate viable sets for linear systems. Control Theory Appl. 30, 14731478 (2013) (in Chinese) Google Scholar
 Chen, Z, Gao, Y: Approximating viability kernel for control systems. Oper. Res. Trans. 17, 2432 (2013) (in Chinese) MathSciNetMATHGoogle Scholar
 Gao, Y: Determining viability of polytopic set for linear control system. Control Decis. 31, 17201722 (2016) (in Chinese) MATHGoogle Scholar
 Mitchell, IM: Comparing forward and backward reachability as tools for safety analysis. In: Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control. LNCS, vol. 4416, pp. 428443 (2007) View ArticleGoogle Scholar
 Le Girard, C Girard, A: Reachability analysis of linear systems using support functions. Nonlinear Anal. Hybrid Syst. 4, 250262 (2010) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Kaynama, S, Oishi, M, Mitchell, IM, Dumont, GA: The continual reachability set and its computation using maximal reachability techniques. In: 50th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control and European Control Conference, pp. 61106115 (2011) View ArticleGoogle Scholar
 Han, Z, Krogh, BH: Reachability analysis of nonlinear systems using trajectory piecewise linearized models. American Control Conference, pp. 15051510 (2006) Google Scholar
 Blanchini, F, Miani, S: SetTheoretic Methods in Control. Birkhäuser, Boston (2008) MATHGoogle Scholar
 Mitchell, IM, Bayen, AM, Tomlin, CJ: A timedependent HamiltonJacobi formulation of reachable sets for continuous dynamic games. IEEE Trans. Autom. Control 50, 947957 (2005) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Kurzhanski, AB, Varaiya, P: Dynamic optimization for reachability problems. J. Optim. Theory Appl. 108, 227251 (2001) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Aubin, JP, Bayen, AM, Pierre, PS: Viability Theory: New Directions, 2nd ed. Springer, New York (2011) View ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Lygeros, J: On reachability and minimum cost optimal control. Automatica 40, 917927 (2004) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Maidens, JN, Kaynama, S, Mitchell, IM, Oishic, MMK, Dumonta, GA: Lagrangian methods for approximating the viability kernel in highdimensional systems. Automatica 49, 20172029 (2013) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Cardaliaguet, P: A differential game with two players and one target. SIAM J. Control Optim. 34, 14411460 (1996) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Aubin, JP, Lggeros, J, Quincampoix, M, Sastry, S, Seube, N: Impulse differential inclusions: a viability approach to hybrid systems. IEEE Trans. Autom. Control 47, 220 (2002) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Clark, FH, Ledyaev, YS, Stern, RJ, Wolenski, PR: Nonsmooth Analysis and Control Theory. Springer, New York (1998) MATHGoogle Scholar
 Pierre, PS: Approximation of the viability kernel. Appl. Math. Optim. 29, 187209 (1994) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Gao, Y, Lggeros, J, Quincampoix, M: On the reachability problem of uncertain hybrid systems. IEEE Trans. Autom. Control 52, 15721586 (2007) MathSciNetView ArticleMATHGoogle Scholar
 Quincampoix, M, Veliov, V: Viability with Target: Theory and Applications. Applications of Mathematics in Engineering, vol. 47 (1997) Google Scholar