[pulseaudio-discuss] [PATCH 04/13] loopback: Adjust rates based on latency difference
Tanu Kaskinen
tanuk at iki.fi
Thu Nov 12 12:10:28 PST 2015
On Thu, 2015-11-12 at 00:30 +0500, Alexander E. Patrakov wrote:
> 11.11.2015 23:36, Tanu Kaskinen wrote:
> > Sorry for being obtuse, but I don't follow what this simple bit of code
> > is doing. You mentioned "P-controller" and the "Ziegler-Nichols
> > method". I followed the Wikipedia link, and found that a P-controller
> > is a very simple thing:
>
> Actually it was me when splitting the patch :)
>
> >
> > u(t) = Kp * e(t)
> >
> > where
> >
> > u(t): the new control variable value (the new sink input rate)
>
> No. The control variable is new_rate - base_rate.
>
> >
> > Kp: a tunable parameter (a magic number)
> >
> > e(t): the error value, i.e. the difference between the current process
> > variable value and the target value (current latency minus configured
> > latency)
>
> Correct.
>
> > The Ziegler-Nichols method can be used to choose Kp. For a P-controller
> > Kp is defined as
> >
> > Kp = 0.5 * Ku
> >
> > where
> >
> > Ku: a number that, when used in place of Kp, makes u(t) oscillate in a
> > stable manner
>
> See below, I'll comment on that.
>
> >
> > (A sidenote: I probably have understood something wrong, because Kp is
> > a plain number, and u(t) and e(t) have different units, so there
> > appears to be a unit mismatch. u(t) is a frequency and e(t) is a time
> > amount.)
>
> Kp is not a plain number. It has the unit necessary to convert from the
> unit of error value to the unit of the control variable.
>
> >
> > Figuring out Ku seems to require having an initial calibration phase
> > where various Ku values are tried and the oscillation of u(t) is
> > measured. The code doesn't seem to do this. Could you explain how you
> > have derived the formula in rate_controller()?
> >
>
> The formula is indeed not the most obvious one. We have exchanged some
> emails with Georg. If he permits, I can forward his email with the
> derivation of the non-linear part written on paper and scanned. But, to
> answer the question about the "optimal tuning" in the sense of
> Ziegler-Nichols method, we only need to talk about the linear
> approximation in latency_difference_usec, that is, put min_cycles to 1.0.
>
> So:
>
> new_rate = base_rate * (1.0 + latency_difference_usec / adjust_time)
>
> I.e. here Kp = 1 / adjust_time, that's all.
>
> Assuming that the correct rate is the nominal one (i.e. base_rate),
> which is a crude approximation but good enough for evaluating stability,
> the latency difference accumulates with the speed which is exactly
> (base_rate - new_rate) / base_rate. Indeed, in one second according to
> the input, base_rate samples will be pushed, but only new_rate samples
> will be pulled from the queue. So, each second, the queue grows by
> base_rate - new_rate samples. According to base_rate, it's (base_rate -
> new_rate) / base_rate seconds per second.
>
> Now note that the new latency difference will be evaluated again in
> adjust_time. So, if we put Kp = 2 / adjust_time instead of what we did,
> then see what happens: by the time we look again, the latency difference
> will be overcorrected by a factor of 2. I.e. changes the sign. Then the
> rate controller will try to correct that again, and will again overshoot
> by a factor of 2, i.e. it will return to the original value. I.e. it
> will exhibit oscillations with constant amplitude - exactly what
> Ziegler-Nichols method calls for, when calibrating. We actually use Kp =
> 1 / adjust_time, i.e. half of the critical value, which is exactly what
> Ziegler-Nichols method prescribes.
Thanks a lot for explaining! I think I'll put the rate controller
details in a wiki page during the weekend. I first thought of putting
it in code comments, but that's probably not the best medium in this
case.
--
Tanu
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