At a given speed and load, the spark advance (SA) is tuned to reach the maximum break torque (MBT) timing to maximize efficiency. The use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) can further improve fuel economy at the same speed and load. As EGR increases, MBT moves towards a more advanced timing that can be limited by the high variability in the combustion process, reflected in unacceptable torque fluctuations. This variability is rapidly increased by the random occurrence of partial burns and/or misfires. In order to operate close to the misfire limit, a stochastic misfire controller has been designed to momentarily move from an undesired to an allowable misfire rate, without significantly increasing variability in the combustion process. Control-oriented models for the combustion process and misfire events are discussed. Simulation of the closed-loop system shows that the feedback misfire controller, on average, stays closer to the misfire limit than a more conventional controller designed to react when a misfire is detected.

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