Feedback Systems: An Introduction for Scientists and Engineers
This book provides an introduction to the basic principles and tools for the design and analysis of feedback systems. It is intended to serve a diverse audience of scientists and engineers who are interested in understanding and utilizing feedback in physical, biological, information and social systems.
We have attempted to keep the mathematical prerequisites to a minimum while being careful not to sacrifice rigor in the process. We have also attempted to make use of examples from a variety of disciplines, illustrating the generality of many of the tools while at the same time showing how they can be applied in specific application domains.
A major goal of this book is to present a concise and insightful view of the current knowledge in feedback and control systems. The field of control started by teaching everything that was known at the time and, as new knowledge was acquired, additional courses were developed to cover new techniques. A consequence of this evolution is that introductory courses have remained the same for many years, and it is often necessary to take many individual courses in order to obtain a good perspective on the field. In developing this book, we have attempted to condense the current knowledge by emphasizing fundamental concepts.
We believe that it is important to understand why feedback is useful, to know the language and basic mathematics of control and to grasp the key paradigms that have been developed over the past half century. It is also important to be able to solve simple feedback problems using back-of-the-envelope techniques, to recognize fundamental limitations and difficult control problems and to have a feel for available design methods.