Appendix D. Further Reading

It can be difficult and frustrating for the practitioner to find background information about control theory that is relevant to one’s problems. Most textbooks on control theory are intended mostly to prepare students to perform calculations using Laplace transform methods (or state-space techniques), while conceptual development and practical matters are given rather short shrift. On the other hand, practice-oriented titles are often little more than field guides that offer only heuristic rules of thumb for specific, well-known applications. Books or articles concentrating on feedback concepts are rare.

  • The Art of Control Engineering by Ken Dutton, Steve Thompson, and Bill Barraclough (1997). This comprehensive volume provides an excellent introduction to control theory that balances theory and practical aspects. Be aware that the arrangement of topics within the book can make it difficult to follow the conceptual development. (If you have difficulties finding this book in the U.S., then look for it in the UK.)

  • Advanced PID Control by Karl Johan Åström and Tore Hägglund (2005). Despite its seemingly narrow title, this is an extremely comprehensive and accessible book on the practical problems that one is likely to encounter when developing real-world feedback systems. Although the text is very “hands on” and geared toward field work (mostly in the chemical industry), it provides much more than just heuristic rules of thumb. This book ...

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