History of Feedback Control

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The field of feedback control has a long an interdisciplinary history, which can make it challenging to trace its origins. There have been numerous publications on the topic most notably the work of Otto Mayr [1]. It is convenient to divide the development of feedback control into four periods, Early Control, The Pre-Classical Period, The Classical Period and Modern Control.

Etymology and definition

Early Control

The early control period is often defined to be control before the 19th century when feedback control was mainly an engineering tool.

Pre-Classical Period

The pre-classical period that spans from the 19th century to early 20th century is marked by the development of feedback control as a mechanism to explain and influence behavior of dynamic systems.

Classical Period

The classical period in the mid 20th century is when the field of control theory emerged as its own field of engineering.

Modern Control

The Modern period spans from mid 20th century to present time.

Future Directions

See also


  1. O. Mayr. (2000). The Origins of Feedback Control.

Further reading

External links