Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Systems Theory

LEVEL 04 - Years 4, 5 in Modular UG or PG Cert Course


DEPARTMENT Systems and Control Engineering

DESCRIPTION This study-unit introduces advanced systems-based methodologies for analysis and control of dynamic systems. It presents the relevant theory and techniques underpinning the methodologies required for understanding, analyzing and controlling dynamic systems characterized by complex features such as nonlinearity, high system orders, multiple inputs and outputs etc. Several examples from various domains exhibit such traits, including robotic and autonomous engineering systems, weather processes in meteorology, stock market variations in finance, population dynamics in ecology, control of traffic congestion and others. A Systems Theoretical framework is applied for modelling, analysing, simulating, predicting and controlling the behaviour of such systems; an indispensable tool for the modern systems and control engineer.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of the study unit are to:
1. Introduce the paradigm of Systems Theory:
-What constitutes a system; definition and explanation of systems terminology (holism, emergence, isomorphism, feedback loops...); system parameters; system boundaries; inputs, outputs and disturbances.
- Origins of Systems Theory;
- Hierarchy of Complex Systems, with examples from engineering, physical and social sciences.

2. Present the detailed concepts of a system, system properties and characteristics:
- System properties: static and dynamic, causal and anti-causal, deterministic and stochastic;
- System characteristics: time delays, stability, transient and steady state behaviour;
- System complexity: multivariable, adaptive, nonlinear, and chaotic systems.

3. Explain techniques for system representation, modelling and control:
- System representation: Block diagrams, causal loop diagrams, state diagrams, stock and flow diagrams;
- System modelling: Concepts of dynamic system modelling such as model structure, order, boundaries; differential equation and state-space models of linear systems; concepts of unmodelled dynamics, disturbances and noise;
- System control: State feedback controller design.

4. Introduce nonlinear systems analysis:
- Nonlinear state space models, equilibrium points and their stability properties, limit cycles, phase plane analysis, linearization, chaotic dynamics.

5. Present techniques for solving model equations and software simulation:
- Concept of solution space, analytical and numerical solution methodologies, simulation software packages (e.g. Matlab, Simulink, VenSim).

6. Progressively illustrate how a systems approach can be applied for the analysis, understanding and control of various dynamic systems and complexity issues in engineering, ecology, social sciences and finance.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Given a system description:
- correctly identify the system boundaries;
- describe the system hierarchy and thus identify the system type and a correct representation for the system;
- identify the solution space for a chosen model;
- list all the system inputs, outputs, parameters and disturbances;
- describe and predict important system characteristics such as stability, transient and steady state behaviour.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Given a system description:
- derive a mathematical model correctly describing the system behaviour;
- identify and analyze the dynamic properties of the system;
- derive analytical and/or numerical solutions for the chosen model;
- identify structural properties which give rise to complex dynamic behaviour;
- design state-feedback controllers for regulating the system;
- apply software packages to model and simulate the system.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Reference Reading:
- Sterman J.D., 2000, Business Dynamics : Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World, McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-238915-X
- Ogata K., 2009, Modern Control Engineering , Prentice Hall. ISBN 013-6156738

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Study-unit: SCE2213

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Practicum & Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (20 Minutes) SEM1 No 10%
Assignment SEM1 No 20%
Online Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 70%

LECTURER/S Simon G. Fabri

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.