BI3SS16-State Space and Frequency Response

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof William Harwin


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Overview of two important techniques for modelling and understanding complex dynamic entities such as machines, animals, economies, people and the like.

The module aims to introduce state space and frequency response theory and their application in analysis and design of systems and controllers.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module the students should be able to analyse and design control systems using state-space and frequency response techniques

Additional outcomes:

Students should achieve a broad understanding of how to deal with complex dynamic systems

Outline content:
State Space: Definition of and problem description using state variables. Review of matrix techniques and their use to evaluate system responses: eigenvalues, eigenvectors and modes. Transfer function matrix interpretation. Transition matrices. Jordan canonical form. Controllability and observability. System decomposition: invariant transformations and decoupling transformations. State variable feedback design vs output feedback. Eigenvalue assignment for SISO and MIMO systems. Design of simple optimal control systems. Full order state observers. Implementation on analogue and digital computers. Practical examples.

Frequency Response Methods (10 lectures): Review of frequency response of linear systems, relationship between frequency response and the time domain. Positive and negative feedback. Methods for system identification from frequency response data. Design of controllers using the frequency domain.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module comprises 2 lectures per week, two assignments and a revision tutorial.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 1
Guided independent study 79
Total hours by term 99.00 1.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Report 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:
2 hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Assignment on frequency response, using MatLab GUIs to plot frequency response, identify systems and then design controllers, written up in report.

A short  report to support the concept of a state space and demonstrate the theoretical and computational tools. 

Formative assessment methods:

Example sheets (state space)

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By examination in August/September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books: 2) Specialist equipment or materials: 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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