Control Theory and Optimization Technique

In open loop control, it is assumed that the dynamical model of the system is well known, that there is little or no environmental noise and that the control signal can be applied with high precision. This approach is generally utilized when there is a target value, to achieve at a particular final time, T. The disadvantage of open-loop control is that the performance of the controller is highly susceptible to any unanticipated disturbances. In feedback control, continuous or discrete time measurements of the system output, y(t), are used to adjust the control signal in real time. At each instant, the observed process, y is compared to a tracking reference, r(t), and used to generate an error signal. Feedback therefore provides the backbone of most modern control applications. In learning control, a measurement of the system, y(t), is also used to design the optimal feedback signal; however, it is not done in real time. Instead, a large number of trial control signals are tested in advance.