PIAZZI Aurelio
Year of erogation: 
Unit Coordinator: 
Disciplinary Sector: 
Second semester
Year of study: 
Language of instruction: 


Learning outcomes of the course unit

The aims of the course in relation to understanding and knowledge are:
- Understanding of the two principles of active control, feedforward and feedback, and of the broad applications to automation.
- Understanding of the methods, based on Laplace and Zeta transforms, to
determine the time-evolution of linear scalar dynamic systems.
- Knowledge of harmonic analysis and of the stability theory for linear systems.
- Knowledge of the main methods of analysis and synthesis for feedback control systems.
In relation to the ability to apply knowledge and understanding, the aims are:
- Skill to analyze feedback control systems.
- Skill to set up and solve simple problems of regulation and control with a single controlled variable.


Mathematical Analysis 1, General Physics 1

Course contents summary

1) Fundamental concepts: systems and mathematical models. Block diagrams.
Feedforward and feedback. Robustness of feedback with respect to feedforward. Mathematical modelling of physical systems: examples from electric networks, mechanical systems, and thermal systems. [7 hours]
2) Analysis methods of LTI (linear time-invariant) SISO (single-input single-output) systems. Ordinary differential equations and Laplace transform. Inverse Laplace transform of rational functions. Generalized derivatives and elements of impulse function theory. The transfer function. Relations between the initial conditions of a differential equation. First and second order linear systems. The concept of dominant poles. [14 hours]
3) Stability of dynamical systems: stability to perturbations, BIBO (bounded-input bounded-output) stability and related theorems. Routh’s Criterion. [5 hours]
4) Frequency-domain analysis: the frequency response function. Relation between the impulse response and the frequency response. Bode’s diagrams. Nyquist’s or polar diagrams. Asymptote of the polar diagrams. Bode’s formula and minimumphase systems. [7 hours]
5) Properties of feedback systems. The Nyquist criterion. Phase and magnitude margins: traditional definitions and their extensions. The Padé approximants of the time delay. [6 hours]
6) The root locus of a feedback systems: properties for the plotting. Generalization of the root locus: the “root contour”. Examples. Stability degree on the complex plane of a stable systems. [5 hours]
7) Control system design: the approach with fixed-structure controllers. Specification requirements and their compatibility. Phase-lead and phase-lag Compensation. The pole-zero cancellation technique and the internal stability of a feedback connection. Frequency synthesis with the inversion formulas. The Diophantine equation for the direct synthesis. Regulation of dynamic systems. The PID regulators: frequency design, tuning and implementation. Control of systems with time delay. A glimpse on feedforward-feedback schemes [13 hours]
8) Digital control systems: The z-transform. Conversion from continuous-time to discrete-time. Sampling frequency and anti-aliasing filtering. SISO discrete-time linear systems: free and forced response, stability and Jury’s Criterion. Glimpse on the synthesis of discrete-time controllers. [13 hours]
9) A design example: position regulation of a DC servo electric motor. Modeling and design of a PD controller by means of the root locus and simulations. Digital implementation with the Arduino board. Experimental results and final considerations. [2 hous]

Recommended readings

Pdf slides of the lessons on the web site of the course.

1) G. Marro, ``Controlli Automatici'', quinta edizione, Zanichelli, Bologna,
2) P. Bolzern, R. Scattolini, N. Schiavoni, “Fondamenti di Controlli
Automatici”, quarta edizione, McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
3) M. Basso, L. Chisci, P. Falugi, “Fondamenti di Automatica”, CittàStudi,
4) A. Ferrante, A. Lepschy, U. Viaro, “Introduzione ai Controlli
Automatici”, UTET, 2000.
5) J.C. Doyle, A. Tannembaum, B. Francis, “Feedback Control Theory”,
MacMillan, 1992.
6) M.P. Fanti, M. Dotoli, “MATLAB: Guida al laboratorio di automatica”,
CittàStudi, 2008.

Teaching methods

Classroom sessions with the alternate use of slides and explanations with examples at the blackboard. Discussion and resolution of exercises at the blackboard on all topics of the course. A glimpse of computer aided control systems design using MATLAB and Control Systems Toolbox.

The slides used to support lessons are available on the online teaching site. They are the main didactical material for the lessons.

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of learning is carried out with a Written Test which includes a part with questions (multiple-choice or open) on all course topics and one or more parts with analysis or synthesis exercises to be solved.
To participate in a Written Test, registration on the University's ESSE3 online site is mandatory. During the Written Test it is not allowed to consult notes, handouts, books, etc. The use of a basic scientific calculator is allowed and recommended.
The final grade is expressed out of thirty (0-30) and is obtained as the sum of the scores achieved in the various parts of the Written Test.