11R15. Functional Adaptive Control: An Intelligent Systems Approach. - SG Fabri (Dept of Elec Power and Control Eng, Univ of Malta, Msida, MSD 06, Malta) and V Kadirkamanathan (Dept of Autom Control and Syst Eng, Univ of Sheffield, Sheffield, S1 3JD, UK). Springer-Verlag London Ltd, Surrey, UK. 2001. 266 pp. ISBN 1-85233-438-X. $99.00.

Reviewed by PJ Eagle (Exp and Comput Mech, DaimlerChrysler Corp, CIMS 483-05-10, 800 Chrysler Dr, Auburn Hill MI 48326-2757).

This book is a monograph devoted to methods for analyzing nonlinear control problems using techniques to confront uncertainty in the plant and environment. The stated aim of the text is to present new results in intelligent control associated with adapting to functionally uncertain, non-linear, continuous time systems. The authors honestly state that the book arose out of the first author’s doctoral research. This fact is clear in the both the content and presentation as the reader sees the limitations of this text. The writing style is not oriented toward pedagogy and does not contain practice problems. As such, it would not be a good choice as an undergraduate text. Unfortunately, every example contained in the text is contrived as a purely numerical simulation without clear linkage to actual practice. While the claim is made that simulations are included which confirm “that these novel designs are truly effective for dealing with the stringent conditions usually associated with intelligent control,” it is possible that none of this work has been evaluated with physical systems or real data. Upper-level graduate students pursuing research topics in control systems might be better served by reviewing the various peer-reviewed publications that are related to this topic area.

The book consists of ten chapters presenting some of the author’s research and some background literature review. There is an extensive list of nomenclature, symbols, and figures supported by a complete table of contents and index. The references are carefully and accurately indicated throughout the text. The book was well reviewed for typesetting irregularities and typographic errors. There is an abundance of figures that provides complete results and, in some cases, input data for the simulations used throughout.

The book contains a clearly presented review of the main issues and techniques in adaptive control. The painstaking referencing system used to support this review is impressive. The literature review is typical of a doctoral dissertation as well as the authors’ observations about their own contributions to the field. It will not be convincing to most readers that carefully formulated simulations shown that Gaussian radial basis functions are “a practical and feasible solution for effecting adaptive control of a wide variety of physical systems” or that the problem of transient performance improvement for functional adaptive control has been “tackled by deriving a novel neural network adaptation law.” The author’s claims would be most convincing if peer-reviewed journals accepted the backbone of this work and if some physical systems were used to test the results. Many well-documented aircraft examples exist in the same references cited in this text could be used to provide the necessary data. In fact, the authors indicate that “the combination of complexity coupled with strict performance specifications is not uncommon in modern aircraft.” The reader is not convinced that this statement is made with any first-hand knowledge.

In summary, this reviewer would have difficulty in recommending Functional Adaptive Control: An Intelligent Systems Approach to students or libraries seeking adaptive control system reference texts. This book is neither a complete nor a practical resource. Researchers seeking guidance in these areas would be better served by the original references.