Bellman Neural Networks for the Class of Optimal Control Problems With Integral Quadratic Cost

Enrico Schiassi, Andrea D'Ambrosio, Roberto Furfaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work introduces Bellman Neural Networks (BeNNs) and employs them to learn the optimal control actions for the class of optimal control problems (OCPs) with integral quadratic cost. BeNNs represent a particular family of Physics-Informed Neural Networks (PINNs) specifically designed and trained to tackle OCPs via applying the Bellman Principle of Optimality (BPO). The BPO provides necessary and sufficient optimality conditions, which result in a nonlinear partial differential equation known as the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB) equation. BeNNs learn the optimal control actions from the unknown solution of the arising HJB equation (i.e., the value function), where the unknown solution is modeled using a Neural Network. Additionally, the paper shows how to estimate the upper bounds on the generalization error of BeNNs while learning the solutions for the OCP class under consideration. The generalization error estimate is provided in terms of the choice and number of the training points as well as the training error. Numerical studies show that BeNNs can be successfully applied to learn the feedback control actions for the class of optimal control problems considered and, after the training is completed, deployed to control the system in a closed-loop fashion. <italic>Impact Statement</italic>&#x2014;The proposed research improves our understanding of how to solve optimal control problems with closed-loop solutions and has potentially a countless number of applications in several different areas. The study is at the intersection between optimal control theory and artificial intelligence connected with mathematical tools for functional interpolation. This advances the ability to implement a higher level of autonomy in decision-making for practical applications with a beneficial impact on our society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Artificial Intelligence
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Artificial neural networks
  • Bellman neural networks
  • close-loop control
  • Costs
  • extreme learning machines
  • functional interpolation
  • hamilton-jacobi-bellman equation
  • Interpolation
  • Mathematical models
  • Optimal control
  • physics-informed neural networks
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications


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