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The Routh Hurwitz Stability Criterion

Dr. Sallehuddin Mohamed Haris
March 8, 2010
Consider the following characteristic equation:
an sn + an−1 sn−1 + an−2 sn−2 + ∙ ∙ ∙ + a1 s + a0 = 0
We write the coefficients of the characteristic polynomial as follows:
sn
sn−2
sn−3
..
.

an
an−1
bn−1
cn−1
.
..

s0

hn−1

sn−1

an−2
an−3
bn−3
cn−3
..
.

an−4
an−5
bn−5
cn−5
..
.

∙∙∙
∙∙∙
∙∙∙
∙∙∙
.
..

where
bn−1 =

a{n−1}  

a{n−2} − an (an−3 )
−1
=
an−1
an−1

.

an .

bn−3 = − an−1 .

an−1 .

1 .

.

an−1 cn−1 = − bn−1 .

bn−1 1 .

an−4 .

.

an−5 .

.

an−3 .

.

bn−3 .

.

.

an an−2 .

.

an−1 an−3 .

.

.

.

This condition is both necessary and sufficient. there must not be any sign changes in the first column. No element in the 1st column is 0. Example 1 s2 + 2s + 3 = 0 The Routh array is then 1 . The following types of instances must be considered: 1. The Routh Hurwitz criterion states that. for a system to be stable.

1 2 b1 s2 s1 s0 3 0 0 (2 × 3) − (0 × 1) .

2.

1 .

.

1 3.

.

= − .

2 2 0.

but some other elements in row i are 6= 0. the system is unstable with two roots lying on the RHS of the complex plane.  → − 12  → 6. 2 and 3. hence the system is stable. 2. There is a 0 in the 1st column of row i. Example 2 s5 + 2s4 + 2s3 + 4s2 + 11s + 10 = 0 The Routh array is then s5 s4 s3 s2 s1 s0 c1 = = d1 = 1 2  c1 d1 10 2 4 6 10 0 0 11 10 0 0 0 0 4 − 12  −12  6c1 − 10 →6 c1 There are two sign changes i. If one element in the array is zero. 2 . and all other elements in row i are also 0. Hence. There is no sign change. 3. it may be replaced by a small positive number  that is allowed to approach zero after the array is completed. There is a 0 in the 1st column of row i.e. = 3 b1 = The elements of the first column are 1.

3 . Hence. this system is marginally stable.Example 3 s3 + 2s2 + 4s + 8 = 0 The Routh array is 1 2 b1 c1 s3 s2 s1 s0 4 8 0 0 8−8 2 = 0 b1 = c1 = 0 There are two poles on the imaginary (jω) axis.