1R6. Optimal Control Systems. - DS Naidu (Idaho State Univ, Pocatello ID). CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton FL. 2003. 433 pp. ISBN 0-8493-0892-5. $99.95.
Reviewed by I Kolmanovsky (Sci Res Lab, MD-2036, Ford Motor Co, 2101 Village Rd, Dearborn MI 48124).
The book, Optimal Control Systems, by DS Naidu provides an introduction to key concepts and methods of the optimal control theory for deterministic continuous-time and discrete-time finite-dimensional dynamic systems. The material of the book is based on the author’s experience teaching graduate level optimal control courses and has grown out of the lecture notes used by the author in these courses.
The book is very readable and careful attention has certainly been given to provide the reader with a comprehensive set of tools without overburdening with the complex mathematical details and notations (although the key mathematical ideas are, indeed, well exposed and the logic underlying the developments is transparent and thorough). It should be accessible to a wide audience including graduate students and practitioners from engineering and other fields. Optimal Control Systems can be utilized both as a textbook in the introductory courses in the optimal control theory, or as a quick reference by practicing engineers. The use of Matlab/Simulink to treat the examples (including the snippets of the actual code), historical remarks about the scientists behind the major discoveries in the optimal control theory, recipe-style summaries of the key methodologies, exercise problems at the end of each of the chapters are undoubtedly the strong points of this book which significantly contribute to its pedagogical value.
On a somewhat more critical side, most of the examples in the book are, in fact, of relatively low order linear systems. This can actually be viewed as an advantage in that the in-depth treatment of these examples is possible so that the main ideas can be illustrated rather well. At the same time, the treatment of more of higher order nonlinear system examples in combination with a more extended introduction into the numerical methods of the optimal control could have been beneficial for the readers to gain an additional insight into how the underlying techniques can be applied.