CDS110 2016

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This is the course homepage for CDS 101/110, Fall 2016.

Course Staff, Hours, Location

Position Name Office Office Hours (changing weekly) Email Phone
Instructor Joel Burdick 245 Gates-Thomas send mail for an appointment jwb at robotics dot caltech dot edu 626-395-4139
Teach Asst. Richard Cheng 205 Gates-Thomas TBD georgiev at caltech dot edu 626-395-????
Teach Asst. Yoke Peng Leong Annenberg TBD ypleong at caltech dot edu 626-395-????
Administrative Sonya Lincoln 250 Gates-Thomas 7:30am-noon; 1:00pm-4:30pm lincolns at caltech dot edu 626-395-3385


Course Syllabus, Mechanics, and Grading

CDS 101/110 provides an introduction to feedback and control in physical, biological, engineering, and information sciences. The course will introduce students to the basic principles of feedback and its use as a tool for altering the dynamics of systems, meeting systems specifications, and managing system uncertainty. Key themes include: linear system theory input/output response, closed loop behavior, linear versus nonlinear models, and local versus global behavior.

CDS 101 is a 6 unit (2-0-4) class intended for science and engineering students who are interested in the principles and tools of feedback control, but not necessarily the engineering and analytical techniques for design and synthesis of control systems. CDS 110 is a 12 unit class (3-0-9) that provides a traditional first course in control for engineers and applied scientists. It assumes a working knowledge of linear algebra and ODEs as a prerequisite (e.g., as found in ACM 95). Familiarity with complex variables (Laplace transforms, residue theory) is helpful but not required. The basics of these topics will be reviewed during the course.


The final grade will be based on homework sets, a midterm exam, and a final exam:

  • Homework (50%): Homework sets will be handed out weekly and due on Wednesdays by 2 pm either in class or in the labeled box across from 107 Steele Lab. Each student is allowed up to two extensions of no more than 2 days each over the course of the term. Homework turned in after Friday at 2 pm or after the two extensions are exhausted will not be accepted without a note from the health center or the Dean. MATLAB/Python code and SIMULINK/Modelica diagrams are considered part of your solution and should be printed and turned in with the problem set (whether the problem asks for it or not).
  • Midterm exam (20%): A midterm exam will be handed out at the beginning of midterms period (28 Oct) and due at the end of the midterm examination period (3 Nov). The midterm exam will be open book and computers will be allowed (though not required).
  • Final exam (30%): The final exam will be handed out on the last day of class (4 Dec) and due at the end of finals week. It will be an open book exam and computers will be allowed (though not required).

Collaboration Policy

Collaboration on homework assignments is encouraged. You may consult outside reference materials, other students, the TA, or the instructor, but you cannot consult homework solutions from prior years and you must cite any use of material from outside references. All solutions that are handed in should be written up individually and should reflect your own understanding of the subject matter at the time of writing. MATLAB/Python scripts and plots are considered part of your writeup and should be done individually (you can share ideas, but not code).

No collaboration is allowed on the midterm or final exams.

Course Text and References

The primary course text is

This book is available via the Caltech online bookstore or via download from the companion web site. Note that the second edition of this book is in preparation for publication and will serve as the primary text for the course (but almost all of the material we will cover is also in the first edition).

The following additional references may also be useful:

  • A. D. Lewis, A Mathematical Approach to Classical Control, 2003. Online access.
  • J. Distefano III, A. R. Stubberud and Ivan J. Williams (Author), Schaum's Outline of Feedback and Control Systems, 2nd Edition, 2013.

In addition to the books above, the textbooks below may also be useful. They are available in the library (non-reserve), from other students, or you can order them online.

  • B. Friedland, Control System Design: An Introduction to State-Space Methods, McGraw-Hill, 1986.
  • G. F. Franklin, J. D. Powell, and A. Emami-Naeni, Feedback Control of Dynamic Systems, Addison-Wesley, 2002.

Lecture Schedule

The following is a tentative schedule for the class, based on previous years' experience.

Date Topic Reading Homework
Week 1

26 Sept
28 Sept
30 Sept.

Introduction and Review
  • Introduction to feedback and control
  • Review of differential equation and linear algebra
  • Feedback principles and examples
FBS-1e 1.1-1.2, 1.4-1.5
FBS-2e 1.1-1.5 (skim), 2.1-2.4
Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf
Due: 7 Oct, 2 pm

Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf (Caltech access only)

Week 2

3 Oct
5 Oct
7 Oct*

Modeling, Stability
  • State space models
  • Phase portraits and stability
  • Introduction to MATLAB
FBS-1e 2.1-2.2, 3.1 4.1-4.3
FBS-2e 3.1-3.2, 4.1, 5.1-5.3
Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf
Due: 14 Oct, 2 pm

Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf (Caltech access only)

Week 3

10 Oct*
12 Oct*
14 Oct*

Linear Systems
  • Input/output response of LTI systems
  • Matrix exponential, convolution equation
  • Linearization around an equilibrium point
FBS-1e 5.1-5.4
FBS-2e 6.1-6.4
Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf
Due: 21 Oct, 2 pm

Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf (Caltech access only)

Week 4

17 Oct
19 Oct
21 Oct*

State Feedback
  • Reachability
  • State feedback and eigenvalue placement
FBS-1e 6.1-6.4
FBS-2e 7.1-7.4
Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf
Due: 28 Oct, 2 pm

Bicycle dynamics

Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf (Caltech access only)

Week 5

24 Oct
26 Oct
28 Oct

State space control design
  • Trajectory generation, feedforward
  • Integral feedback
  • State estimation (if time)
  • Midterm review
FBS-1e 7.1-7.3
FBS-2e 8.1-8.3
Midterm exam
Due: 3 Nov, 5 pm

Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf (Caltech access only)

Week 6

1 Oct
2 Nov
4 Nov*

Transfer Functions
  • Frequency domain modeling
  • Block diagram algebra
  • Bode plots
FBS-1e 8.1-8.4
FBS-2e 9.1-9.4
Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf
Due: 11 Nov, 2 pm

Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf (Caltech access only)

Week 7

7 Nov
9 Nov
11 Nov*

Loop Analysis
  • Loop transfer function and the Nyquist criterion
  • Stability margins
FBS-1e 9.1-9.3
FBS-2e 10.1-10.3
Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf
Due: 18 Nov, 2 pm

Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf (Caltech access only)

Week 8

14 Nov
16 Nov*
18 Nov

PID Control
  • Simple controllers for complex systems
  • Integral action and anti-windup
FBS-1e 10.1-10.4
FBS-2e 11.1-11.4
Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf
Due: 25 Nov, 2 pm

Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf (Caltech access only)

Week 9

21 Nov
23 Nov
Thanksgiving Holiday

Loop Shaping, I
  • Sensitivity functions
  • Feedback design via loop shaping
FBS-1e 11.1-11.3
FBS-2e 12.1-12.4
Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf
Due: 4 Dec, 2 pm

Template:Cds110 fa15 pdf (Caltech access only)

Week 10

28 Nov
30 Nov.
2 Dec

Loop Shaping II
  • Fundamental limitations
  • Modeling uncertainty
  • Performance/robustness tradeoffs
FBS-1e 11.4, 12.1-12.4
FBS-2e 12.6-12.7, 13.1-13.3
Final exam
Due 5 pm on last day of Final Exam Period
  • To be posted on-line