3R22. Control Systems Theory with Engineering Applications. - SE Lyshevski (Dept of Elec and Comput Eng, Purdue Univ, Indianapolis IN 46202-5132). Birkhauser Boston, Cambridge MA. 2001. 416 pp. CD-ROM included. ISBN 0-8176-4203-X. $79.95.

Reviewed by PJ Eagle (Exp and Comput Mech, DaimlerChrysler Corp, 800 Chrysler Dr, Auburn Hill MI 48326-2757).

This book is a monograph devoted to methods for analyzing linear and nonlinear multivariate control system problems. The stated aim of the text is to be “used to teach undergraduate and graduate classes in automatic control at electrical, mechanical and aerospace engineering departments.” While this text has several problems achieving this aim (as described below), it is a unique resource that should not be overlooked as an addition to a library of books on control systems. The book is geared toward using the popular MATLAB® and SIMULINK™ software as tools for analysis and data presentation. The book is not at a very fundamental level and does not contain practice problems. As such, it would not be a good choice as an undergraduate text. However, it is a resource of a large quantity of solved example problems (including a CD-ROM of MATLAB/SIMULINK source code) related to multivariate control and nonlinear systems that is not found in many similar texts. For this reason, this book would be a valuable resource for upper-level graduate students pursuing research topics in control systems.

The book consists of five main sections divided into numerous subsections. There is no list of nomenclature and symbols, but the notation is consistent with those used in standard control system practice. There is a brief index as well as a list of references which is simply a list of publications that are not necessarily related to the content of the book. The reference list is divided into topical sections. For reasons that are not clear, the list of “Papers in Control” is largely populated by the author’s publications. The book was well reviewed for typesetting irregularities and typographic errors. There is an abundance of figures, most of which are graphs and other screen output from MATLAB. The line art does not appear to be professionally executed, but it is clear and consistent.

The book contains an introduction to MATLAB that begins as being overly simple, but covers a wide range of the fundamentals necessary to apply this tool to solving controls problems. The level of detail is useful for readers who are teaching themselves MATLAB for use in these types of applications. The coverage of MATLAB examples is so extensive that some diagrams and output figures are too complex for a book of this type. Nonetheless, the author has taken great care to painstakingly document the examples in text and figure. Some editorial oversight is the coverage of state space theory after MATLAB has already been applied to some state space analysis.

One of the best features of this book is its clear presentation of Hamilton-Jacobi and Lyapunov methods coupled with numerous examples, complete with simulation data and MATLAB files on CD-ROM. Graduate students and researchers in optimal control will benefit from this level of detail. It should be noted that while these examples are detailed enough to run simulations and verify output, they expect the reader to be familiar with a fairly high level of domain-specific knowledge (such as aircraft dynamics). Some examples are flush with irrelevant details like how long the simulation took to run using a particular computer. Other examples suffer from poor practices in significant figures and the lack of appropriate diagrams (a complex dynamic model of a robot is presented with no supporting diagram). In contrast, there is a well-documented and laboriously complete example on induction motor control that would be invaluable to students struggling with the practices in nonlinear control. Even with the above criticisms, this book would be an excellent starting point for a graduate student pursuing problems in discrete-time systems with optimal control.

In summary, this reviewer would definitely recommend Control Systems Theory with Engineering Applications to students or libraries seeking control system and MATLAB/SIMULINK reference texts. This is a very complete and practical resource. It is not a teaching textbook, but it would be an outstanding supplement to an advanced graduate course in nonlinear control.