From Software Enabled Control
Computer control is now the standard technique for implementing control
systems, mainly for two reasons. First is the exponential reduction in the cost
of computing; second is the versatility of implementing control laws in
software. Many developments in control systems are only practical with
computer control - for example, to implement the nonlinear and time-varying
control laws associated with adaptive control. Complicated computations
can be incorporated into the control loop - for example, when computer
vision is used to guide a robot.
Designing the software for such control systems is hard because the
systems are usually heterogeneous. They may include subsystems with very
different characteristics, such as hydraulic actuators and an inertial navigation
system. On the software side the situation is similar. The controller may
have several operational modes. The control law in each mode can be
specified by difference equations; the mode-switching logic can be specified
by a state machine. For vision guidance, complex image processing algorithms
need to be programmed.
For each of these subsystems and aspects of the software, formal models
that support its modeling, analysis, or programming have been developed.
For example, image processing algorithms can be programmed in various
dataflow models [1,...
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