On time: clocks, chronometers, and open-loop control

Steven M. LaValle, Magnus B. Egerstedt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper addresses the peculiar treatment that time receives when studying control systems. For example, why is the ability to perfectly observe time assumed implicitly in virtually all control formulations? What happens if this implicit assumption is violated? It turns out that some basic control results fall apart when time cannot be perfectly measured. To make this explicit, we introduce information space concepts that permit imperfect time information to be considered in the same way as imperfect state information. We then argue that classical open-loop control should be reconsidered as perfect time-feedback control. Following this, we introduce a notion of strongly open-loop control, which does not require perfect time observations. We provide some examples of these concepts and argue that many fascinating directions for future controls research emerge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 46th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 2007, CDC
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2007
Event46th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 2007, CDC - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: Dec 12 2007Dec 14 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)0191-2216


Other46th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control 2007, CDC
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans, LA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Control and Optimization


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