class mrpt::system::CControlledRateTimer

A class for calling sleep() in a loop, such that the amount of sleep time will be computed to make the loop run at the desired rate (in Hz).

This class implements a PI controller on top of a vanilla CRateTimer object, ensuring a high accuracy in achieved execution rates. Note that this is done by setting a slightly-higher rate (“control action”) to the internal CRateTimer, such that the error between the user-provided expected rate and the actual measured rate (low-pass filtered) is decreased by means of a PI controller.

Note that rates higher than a few kHz are not attainable in all CPUs and/or kernel versions. Find below some graphs illustrating how this class tries to achieve a constant setpoint rate (given by the user), reacting to changes in the setpoint values:

controlled rate timer plots

This graphs is generated with the example:

system_control_rate_timer_example --rate1 2000.0 --rate2 4000.0

All the parameters for the PI controller and low-pass filter (rate estimator) are settable by the user to adapt them to specific needs.

Control law by Francisco Jose Mañas Alvarez

[New in MRPT 2.0.4]

#include <mrpt/system/CControlledRateTimer.h>

class CControlledRateTimer: public mrpt::system::COutputLogger
    // construction

    CControlledRateTimer(const double rate_hz = 1.0);


    void setRate(const double rate_hz);
    bool sleep();
    double controllerParam_Kp() const;
    void controllerParam_Kp(double v);
    double controllerParam_Ti() const;
    void controllerParam_Ti(double v);
    double lowPassParam_a0() const;
    void lowPassParam_a0(double v);
    double followErrorRatioToRaiseWarning() const;
    void followErrorRatioToRaiseWarning(double v);
    double actualControlledRate() const;
    double estimatedRate() const;
    double estimatedRateRaw() const;

Inherited Members

    // structs

    struct TMsg;


CControlledRateTimer(const double rate_hz = 1.0)

Ctor: specifies the desired rate (Hz)


void setRate(const double rate_hz)

Changes the object loop rate (Hz)

bool sleep()

Sleeps for some time, such as the return of this method is 1/rate (seconds) after the return of the previous call.


false if the rate could not be achieved (“we are already late”), true if all went right.

double controllerParam_Kp() const

PI controller Kp parameter [default=1.0].

double controllerParam_Ti() const

PI controller Ti parameter [default=0.0194].

double lowPassParam_a0() const

Low-pass filter a0 value [default=0.9]: estimation = a0*input + (1-a0)*former_estimation.

double followErrorRatioToRaiseWarning() const

Get/set ratio threshold for issuing a warning (via COutputLogger interface) if the achieved rate is not this close to the set-point [Default=0.2, =20%].

double actualControlledRate() const

Gets the actual controller output: the rate (Hz) of the internal CRateTimer object.

double estimatedRate() const

Gets the latest estimated run rate (Hz), which comes from actual period measurement, low-pass filtered.

double estimatedRateRaw() const

Last actual execution rate measured (Hz), without low-pass filtering.