Most large-scale process models derived from first principles are represented by nonlinear differential-algebraic equation (DAE) systems. Since such models are often computationally too expensive for real-time control, techniques for model reduction of these systems need to be investigated. However, models of DAE type have received little attention in the literature on nonlinear model reduction. In order to address this, a new technique for reducing nonlinear DAE systems is presented in this work. This method reduces the order of the differential equations as well as the number and complexity of the algebraic equations. Additionally, the algebraic equations of the resulting system can be replaced by an explicit expression for the algebraic variables such as a feedforward neural network. This last property is important insofar as the reduced model does not require a DAE solver for its solution but system trajectories can instead be computed with regular ODE solvers. This technique is illustrated with a case study where responses of several different reduced-order models of a distillation column with 32 differential equations and 32 algebraic equations are compared.
Journal of Process Control 15, No. 6, pp. 639 -650 (2005)