The main subject of this work is the stability analysis of Switched Auto-Regressive models with eXogenous inputs (SARX), which constitute a reference class for switched and hybrid system identification. The work introduces novel conditions for the arbitrary switching stability of multiple-input multiple-output SARX models which exploit the peculiar structure of their state-space realization. The analysis relies on the properties of block companion matrices, and partly leverages results from the theory of non-negative matrices, without nevertheless asking for an input–output positive behavior of the model. The novel stability conditions have a simple formulation in terms of linear co-positive common Lyapunov functions, and come at a remarkably low computational cost, being solvable by Linear Programming. The low computational burden is particularly attractive in an identification context, as it allows to efficiently constrain learning procedures in order to obtain SARX models with stability guarantees. The latter is itself a contribution of the work, as it fills a gap in the literature on the estimation of SARX models. The results are validated on a particular learning technique based on Regression Trees – a well known machine learning algorithm – which has shown remarkable accuracy in experimental environments.
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