Neural control of a batch distillation

D.C. Cressy, Ian T. Nabney, A. Simper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the work reported here was to investigate the application of neural control to a common industrial process. The chosen problem was the control of a batch distillation. In the first phase towards deployment, a complex software simulation of the process was controlled. Initially, the plant was modelled with a neural emulator. The neural emulator was used to train a neural controller using the backpropagation through time algorithm. A high accuracy was achieved with the emulator after a large number of training epochs. The controller converged more rapidly, but its performance varied more widely over its operating range. However, the controlled system was relatively robust to changes in ambient conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-123
Number of pages9
JournalNeural Computing and Applications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993

Bibliographical note

The original publication is available at


  • neural control
  • emulator
  • backpropagation through time


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