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Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

Time-delay systems: an overview of some recent

advances and open problems
Jean-Pierre Richard
Ecole Centrale de Lille, LAIL (CNRS UMR 8021), BP 48, 59651 Villeneuve dAscq, Cedex, France
Received 13 July 2001; received in revised form 24 March 2003; accepted 28 April 2003

After presenting some motivations for the study of time-delay system, this paper recalls modi.cations (models, stability, structure)
arising from the presence of the delay phenomenon. A brief overview of some control approaches is then provided, the sliding mode
and time-delay controls in particular. Lastly, some open problems are discussed: the constructive use of the delayed inputs, the digital
implementation of distributed delays, the control via the delay, and the handling of information related to the delay value.
? 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Delay systems; Aftere2ect; Dead-time; Functional di2erential equations

Time-delay systems (shortly, TDS) are also called

systems with aftere2ect or dead-time, hereditary systems,
equations with deviating argument or di2erential-di2erence
equations. They belong to the class of functional di/erential
equations (FDEs) which are in.nite dimensional, as opposed to ordinary di2erential equations (ODEs). It is not the
place here to recall the great number of monographs devoted
to this .eld of active research (at least 30 English-language
books since 1963); the reader can refer, for instance, to survey papers such as Conte and Perdon (1998), Kharitonov
(1998), Kolmanovskii, Niculescu, and Gu (1999a), Loiseau
(1998), Mirkin and Tadmor (2002), Niculescu, Verriest,
Dugard, and Dion (1997, Chap. 1), Olbrot (1998),
Richard (1998), Tsoi (1978, Chap. 5), and Watanabe,
Nobuyama, and Kojima (1996) or special issues such as
Dion, Dugard, and Niculescu (2001), Fridman and Shaked
(2003), Loiseau and Rabah (1997), Niculescu and Richard
(2002), and Richard and Kolmanovskii (1998). What can
motivate such a continuous interest and development?

Four points may give a possible explanation:

(1) Aftere2ect is an applied problem: it is well known
that, together with the increasing expectations of dynamic
performances, engineers need their models to behave more
like the real process. Many processes include aftere2ect
phenomena in their inner dynamics. To name a few, the
monographs (Kolmanovskii & Myshkis, 1999; Niculescu,
2001) 1 give examples in biology, chemistry, economics,
mechanics, viscoelasticity, physics, physiology, population
dynamics, as well as in engineering sciences. In addition,
actuators, sensors, .eld networks that are involved in feedback loops usually introduce such delays. Thus, they are
strongly involved in challenging areas of communication
and information technologies: stability of networked controlled systems (Bushnell, 2001; Nilsson, Bernhardsson,
& Wittenmark, 1998), quality of service in MPEG video
transmission (MFerigot & Mounier, 2000) or high-speed
communication networks (Abdallah & Chiasson, 2001;
Biberovic, Iftar, & Ozbay, 2001; Bushnell, 2001; Izmailov,
1996; Mascolo, 1999; Mounier, Mboup, Petit, Rouchon, &
Seret, 1998; Quet, Ramakrishnan, Ozbay, & Kalyanaraman,

 A preliminary version of this paper was presented in Second IFAC

Workshop on Linear Time Delay Systems (Richard, 2000). This paper
was recommended for publication in revised form by Editor Manfred
E-mail address: (J.-P. Richard).

1 These advisable monographs provide a wide scope of stability and

control techniques. The present survey includes about 190 complementary references, which correspond either to recent papers, or to complementary topics as structural properties, variable structure control, digital
implementation, delay identi.cation, observers, etc.

1. Some motivations for investigating TDS

0005-1098/03/$ - see front matter ? 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

Table 1
Models for delay systems




Freq. domain
Rat. approx.



Bellman and Cooke (1963)

Richard (1998)

R[  ]
Ru ()
R[s; es ]
K[  ]


VanAssche, Dambrine,
Lafay, and Richard (1999)


Conte and Perdon (1997) and Sename (1994)

Picard, LaFay, and Kucera (1997)
GlMusing-LMuerNen (1997a) and Loiseau and BrethFe (1998)
Moog, Castro-Linares, Velasco-Villa, and Marquez-Martinez (2000)
Loiseau and BrethFe (1997a, b)
Hale and Verduyn-Lunel (1993) and Kolmanovskii and Nosov (1986)
Gorecki, Fuksa, Grabowski, and Korytowski (1989) and
Karrakchou and Rabah (1996)

(In Table 1:  is the delay operator, s the Laplace operator. Models are de.ned over R[  ] (resp. R()) the ring of polynomials (resp., .eld of
rational fractions) in , over Ru () the ring of rational causal transfer functions in , over R[s; es ] (or E) the ring of quasi-polynomials. 2-D means
the two-operator Roesser models, and coms. stands for commensurate).

2001; Shakkottai, Srikant, & Meyn, 2001) teleoperated

systems (Kim, Hannaford, & Bejczy, 1992; LelevFe, Fraisse
& Dauchez, 2001; Niemeyer & Slotine, 1998; Niemeyer,
1996), parallel computation (Abdallah et al., 2001), computing times in robotics (Ailon & Gil, 2000; Shin & Cui,
1995), etc. Finally, besides actual delays, time lags are frequently used to simplify very high order models. Then, the
interest for FDEs keeps on growing in all scienti.c areas
and, especially, in control engineering.
(2) Delay systems are still resistant to many classical controllers: one could think that the simplest approach
would consist in replacing them by some .nite-dimensional
approximations. Unfortunately, ignoring e2ects which are
adequately represented by FDEs is not a general alternative
(see Section 3): in the best situation (constant and known
delays), it leads to the same degree of complexity in the
control design. In worst cases (time-varying delays, for instance), it is potentially disastrous in terms of stability and
(3) Delay properties are also surprising since several studies have shown that voluntary introduction of delays can also
bene;t the control (for instance, for ODEs: damping and stabilization (Abdallah, Dorato, Benitez-Read, & Byrne, 1993;
Richard, Goubet, Tchangani, & Dambrine, 1997, Chap. 11)
delayed resonators (Jalili & Olgac, 1998), time-delay controllers and observers (see Section 5.4), nonlinear limit cycle
control (Aernouts, Roose, & Sepulchre, 2000), and deadbeat
control (Watanabe et al., 1996); for FDEs: .nite-spectrum
assignment (see Section 6.2).
(4) In spite of their complexity, TDS however often
appear as simple in.nite-dimensional models in the very
complex area of partial di2erential equations (PDE): as mentioned in Kolmanovskii and Myshkis (1992), it is usually
not diScult to show that the appearance of delay in a di2erential equation results of some essential simpli.cation of the
model. For instance, hyperbolic PDEs can be locally understood as neutral delay systems (Hale & Verduyn-Lunel,
1993; Kolmanovskii & Nosov, 1986) and, conversely, any

time-delay y(t) = u(t h) can be represented by a classical

transport equation (along the length 1 with speed c = h1 ):
x(z; t) + x(z; t) = 0; z [0; 1];
x(0; t) = u(t); y(t) = x(1; t):


Other relations have been established with fractional derivation equations (Hotzel & Fliess, 1998). Many classes of
models have been proposed for delay systems: Table 1 gives
an overview of their domains of application.
2. A delay: what does it change?
2.1. Models and solutions
2.1.1. Forward and backward solutions of retarded
di/erential equations
A classical hypothesis in the modelling of physical processes is to assume that the future behavior of the deterministic system can be summed up in its present state only.
In the case of ODEs, the state is a n-vector x(t) moving in
Euclidean space Rn . Now, if one has to take into account an
irreducible inVuence of the past, leading to the introduction
of a deviated time-argument, then the state cannot anymore
be a vector x(t) de.ned at a discrete value of time t. For
instance, the simple delay equation
= x(t h)


has several solutions that achieve the same value at an in.nite number of instants. 2 Thus, in FDEs, the state must be a
function xt corresponding to the past time-interval [t h; t],
where h is a positive, irreducible-to-zero constant. Vector
x(t) is the solution at time t.

This is illustrated in Fig. 1, depicting the case h = 1. Recall that (2)

is known to be stable until h = =2.

J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694


x C([ h ; ]; Rn );  0 is referred to as a backward

continuation of the solution through (; ) if x = and,
for any 1 [ ; ]; (1 ; x1 )  and x is a solution of
(5) on [1 h; ] through (1 ; x1 ).

Fig. 1. System (2) with h = 1; 1(plain) or 0:5t (dotted).

Thus, for a more general system such as:

= f(xt ; t; ut );

t t0 ;


y(t) = g(xt ; t; ut );

Similar to ODEs, the Cauchy problem can be dealt with as

follows:  being an open subset in R C, there is a solution
of (5) through (; )  if f is continuous (f C(; Rn )).
If in addition f(t; ) is Lipschitz in its second argument
in each compact set in , then the solution is unique. But,
in contrast to ODEs, for FDEs with arbitrary smooth righthand sides it may occur that originally di2erent solutions
coincide after some time. The following two examples, the
.rst taken from Kolmanovskii and Myshkis (1992, p. 47)
and the second from Hale and Verduyn-Lunel (1993, p. 71),

= x t
1 + t2

xt () = x(t + );

h 6  6 0;

= x(t 1)[1 x2 (t)]

ut () = u(t + );

h 6  6 0;

have the uniqueness of solution x(0; ) through (0; ) and,

for any initial function C with (0) = 1, exhibit the
same solution x(0; )(t); t 0 (x(0; )(t) = 0 for (6), =1
for (7)). In other words, two arbitrary solutions x1 and x2
such that x1 (0)=x2 (0)=1 will stick together for all t 0.
Note that, for (6), this holds for any x1 (0) = x2 (0).
As stated in Hale and Verduyn-Lunel (1993), the uniqueness of the backward continuation is ensured provided that
an additional property of atomicity is satis.ed. 4 Special
classes or RDEs can be considered: Eq. (5) is said to be
autonomous (or time-invariant) if f(t; ) = g(), where g
does not depend on t; linear if f(t; ) = L(t) + h(t), where
operator L(t) is linear; linear homogeneous if h 0; linear
time-invariant if f(t; ) = L. The following properties are
taken from Hale and Verduyn-Lunel (1993):

x() = ();

t0 h 6  6 t0 ;


it is natural to consider, as state space, the set C =

C([ h; 0]; Rn ) of continuous functions mapping the interval [ h; 0] into Rn , with the topology of uniform
convergence. The initial condition must be prescribed as
: [ h; 0] Rn ( C, or may involve bounded jumps
at some discontinuity instants). For instance, take h = 1
in (2) and () 1. The use of the step-by-step method
initiated by Bellman 3 shows that the resulting solution x(t)
is a succession of polynomial functions of t, in increasing
degree at each interval [kh; (k + 1)h] (Fig. 1). The nature
of the solution (and of its initial value), then, distinguishes
FDEs from ODEs. Another distinction with ODEs arises
from the Cauchy problem which, for FDEs, has the usual
properties only forward in time. Before carrying on develop this distinction, let us precise the following notions
of solution and backward continuation.
Denition 1 (Hale & Verduyn-Lunel, 1993). A function x
is said to be a solution on [ h;  + a] of the retarded
functional di2erential equation (RDE)
= f(t; xt );
f:  R C Rn


if there are  R and a 0 such that x C([ h;

+a]; Rn ); (t; xt )  and x(t) Eq. (5) for t [h;
 + a]. For given  R; C, we say x(; ; f) is a solution of (5) with initial value at  or simply a solution
through (; ) if there is an a 0 such that x(; ; f) is
a solution of (5) on t [ h;  + a] and x (; ; f) = .
Supposing that  is open and f C(; Rn ), then a function

See Bellman and Cooke (1963, 1965, p. 45) and Kolmanovskii and
Myshkis (1992) or, for time-varying delay (Elsgolts & Norkin, 1973).


The backward continuation on ] ; 0] of a linear

autonomous RDE is unique.
There may exist two distinct backward continuations on
] ; 0] for an autonomous RDE.
However, if f: C Rn is an analytic functional, the
bounded backward continuation on ] ; 0] is unique.
2.1.2. Neutral systems
FDEs as (3) or (5) are called retarded systems. Neutral
systems also are delay systems, but involve the same highest
derivation order for some components of x(t) at both time t
and past time(s) t  t, which implies an increased mathematical complexity. Neutral systems are represented by
= f(xt ; t; xt ; ut )


The atomicity the manner in which f(t; ) varies with (:).
A function f:  Rn is atomic at  on  if f is continuous together
with its .rst and second FrFechet derivatives w.r.t. ; and f , the derivative
w.r.t. , is atomic at  on  (Hale & Verduyn-Lunel, 1993, p. 53).


J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

or, in Hales form (Hale & Verduyn-Lunel, 1993):

Fx t =
= f(xt ; t; ut );


with constant coeScients i R. Due to this simpli.cation, many authors investigated the particular case of
discrete-delay systems

where F: C Rn is a regular operator (this avoids implicit

systems) with deviating argument in time, as for instance


Fxt = x(t) Dx(t !);

h0 = 0 h1 hk1 hk

D constant matrix:


The solutions of retarded systems have their di2erentiability degree smoothed with increasing time (Fig. 1 and
Kolmanovskii and Myshkis (1992, p. 37), and Niculescu
(2001, p. 24). This property of solution smoothing is
no longer true for neutral systems: due to the implied
di2erence-equation involving x(t),

the trajectory may replicate any irregularity of the initial condition (t), even if f
and F satisfy many smoothness properties. This can cause
problem when applying step-by-step methods to neutral
systems (Bellen & Zennaro, 2001).
2.1.3. Models for LTI systems
In the linear, time-invariant case (abridged: LTI), the corresponding model is


Dl x(t
!l )



(Ai x(t hi ) + Bi u(t hi ))



y(t) =




(Gj ()x() + Hj ()u()) d;

Ci x(t hi ) +




Nj ()x() d;



y(t) =

Ai x(t i) + Bi u(t i);


Ci x(t i);



We will comment on the validity in Section 6.2.

k = h:


It can be written in the form of the following system over the

polynomial ring R[ ] (here, denotes the delay operator
: x(t)  x(t) and for matrices Mi one de.nes M( ) ,
i=0 Mi ):
= A( )x(t) + B( )u(t);


y(t) = C( )x(t);

B( ) Rnm [ ];

C( ) Rpn [ ]:

The inputoutput formulation of the more general system

(11,12) (considering that all variables are equal to zero
before initial time t = 0) is straightforward if the kernel
matrices (Gj ; Hj ; Nj ) are constant ones:


Z = C(s)(sIn A(s))1 B(s)u(s);

where h0 = 0; A0 (constant) represents instantaneous feedback gains; Ai ; i 0 (constant), represent discrete-delay

phenomena; the sum of integrals corresponds to distributeddelay e2ects, weighted by Gj over the time intervals
[t 'j ; t]; matrices Di make the neutral part; Bi and Hj (s)
are input matrices. Here, h = maxi; j; l {hi ; 'j ; !l }. Eq. (12),
y(t) Rn , represents the output description, with discrete
Ci and distributed Nj () delayed parts as well.
Many physical systems can also be approximated by such
models (Mounier, Rouchon, & Rudolph, 1997) with, in most
cases, a single neutral delay (q = 1). Note that, in (11),
Gj Gk for some (j; k) makes it possible to consider
discrete-plus-distributed e2ects such as t'jk Gj x() d.
Besides, some additional approximation 5 may allow the
distributed e2ects to be replaced by a sum of discrete ones

x t
G()x() d
i G


and, still more specially, the class of systems with commensurate (or, rationally dependent) delays, where hi = i are
all integer multiples of a same constant delay 

A( ) Rnn [ ];


Ai x(t hi ) + Bi u(t hi );


C(s) =



Ci eshi +


A(s) =



Dl ses!l +

B(s) =

1 es'j

Ai eshi +





Bi eshi +


Z = L(u(t)) ,






1 es'j

1 es'j

est u(t) dt;

Z = L(y(t)):

The solutions of (11) with constant kernels Gj are based on

its characteristic equation 1(s)=0 and associated spectrum
(A), with
1(s) = det(sIn A(s));


(A) = {s C; 1(s) = 0}:


Of course, apart from the so-called degenerate case, the

transcendental equation 1(s) = 0 has an in.nity of roots, i.e.
card (A) = .

J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

In the case of commensurate delays (hi = i; 'j = j;

!l = l), (18) can be reformulated through a transfer matrix
over the .eld R(s; es ) of the rational fractions in s and
es , i.e.
M(s; es ) = C(s)(sIn A(s))1 B(s):


The behavioral set-up (Willems, 1991) provides an alternative framework to the theory of transfer functions over
rings. Here, a behavior B will be given as B = ker R, where
R is a matrix of delay and di2erential operators (s; ) acting
on the function space. The two approaches are close to each
other (behavior ker[D; N ] and transfer function D1 N ),
however the behavioral approach is more complete for
realization purposes, 6 since it does not neglect the uncontrollable or unobservable parts (GlMusing-LMuerNen, 1997b).
Another very general formulation of linear retarded systems (11) (Dk = 0) involves Stieltjes integrals: 7
[dK()] x(t + );

x(t) Rn ;


t 0;

x() = ()

 ] ; 0];

where all the coeScients kij of the canonical n n matrix

K() are functions with bounded variation. Under some assumptions 8 on K() and , the Laplace transform exists
and, for suSciently large values of Re s
[sI K(s)]
Z = (0) + F(s);

F(t) =


[dK()](t + );
es dK();

s C;
Z =

Z =


es F() d;

es x() d:


ensures that the number of unstable roots is .nite (Elsgolts

& Norkin, 1973). This property of (24) was called formal
stability (Byrnes, Spong, & Tarn, 1984) for linear systems,
or f-stability (Kolmanovskii & Nosov, 1986) for nonlinear ones. It is a crucial property, since trying to stabilize
an initially formally unstable system through a state feedback encounters important robustness problems. This was
recently pointed out in Hale and Verduyn-Lunel (2002),
with the following NSC for (24) to be exponentially stable in the scalar case (Dl = dl R) with noncommensurate
delays !l :

|dl | 1:
Exponential stability
Then, they considered the scalar system with two rationally
independent delays !1 ; !2


2.2. Advances in the theory of stability

Delays are known to have complex e2ects on stability
(Kolmanovskii et al., 1999a). Despite their bad reputation
(see for instance Olbrot (1984) for retarded systems and
Datko (1998) for the neutral case), they may have a stabilizing e2ect: the well-known example y(t)+y(t)y(t
is unstable for h=0, but asymptotically stable 9 for h=1 (see
also other examples in Abdallah et al. (1993)linearor
Goubet, Dambrine, and Richard (1995) nonlinear).

2.2.1. The characteristic roots of retarded and neutral

linear FDEs
In the retarded case (Dl =0), the necessary and suScient
condition for the asymptotic stability of the LTI system (11)
is a straightforward generalization of the ODEs theory, since
it requires (19) not to have zeros in the right half-plane
Re s 0. The same condition, applied to (23), still ensures
that the system in the Stieltjes form (22), with the previous
assumptions on K() and , is asymptotically stable.
In the neutral case (Dl = 0), the situation is di2erent, because there can appear
q an in.nite number of unstable roots,
due to the term s l=1 Dl es!l involved inside the determinant. In the complex plane, there may be in.nite branches
of roots tending to the imaginary axis; conditions based on
the sign of the real parts must then be considered with great
care (Kolmanovskii & Myshkis, 1992). But assuming the
stability of the di2erence equation

x(t) +
Dl x(t !l ) = 0;


The characteristic Eq. (19) for (22) is

1(s) = det[sIn K(s)]
= 0:


We will comment further on realization in Section 2.3.

 0 Here, the delay can be in.nite. For Dk = 0 (neutral systems), add
+ ) in the right-hand side of (22).
[dKN ()] x(t

8 F(t) absolutely convergent, 0
|| |d kij ()| + and (0) +

( 0 ()2 d)1=2 .
9 The approximation y(t)
 [y(t) y(t h)]h1 explains the damping

x(t) + d1 x(t !1 ) + d2 x(t !2 ) = u(t):


Given |d1 | + |d2 | 1 (thus, (25) is not exponentially

stable for u = 0), a feedback control u(t) = f1 x(t !1 )
f2 x(t !2 ) stabilizes (25) if and only if |d1 + f1 | + |d2 +
f2 | 1. But, if the feedback is applied with small time
delays 41 ; 42 , i.e.
u(t) = f1 x(t !1 41 ) f2 x(t !2 42 )


(41;j 42j )

tending to zero so that (25)

then there is a sequence
and (26) is exponentially unstable, although it is exponentially stable for 41 = 42 = 0. This follows from the fact that
|d1 | + |f1 | + |d2 | + |f2 | 1.
2.2.2. The Krasovskii-type approach
Anyway, whatever retarded or neutral class the system
may belong to, checking eigenvalue conditions is much
harder than for ODEs. This explains why numerous stability approaches have been investigated. The diSculty increases with three factors: time-varying delays, nonlinear


J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

Table 2
Validity of the stability approaches

LTI, cnst.h


Varying delays


C-plane, roots
Matrix pencils
Norm, measure
1st Liapunov
Comparison tech.
LaSalle invar.

Low dim
Low dim




(or uncertain) equations, neutral case (see Table 2). A brief

presentation of these methods can be found in the survey
(Richard, 1998) and a more complete one, in the monographs (Hale & Verduyn-Lunel, 1993; Kolmanovskii and
Nosov, 1986; Niculescu, 2001). Whereas there are general
results for stability independent of delay (i.o.d), 10 one may
expect sharper, delay-dependent stability (d.d) conditions.
This is because the robustness of i.o.d. properties is of course
counterbalanced by very conservative conditions. In engineering practice, information on the delay range are generally available and d.d. criteria are likely to give better
In this subsection, the most investigated generalization,
by Krasovskii (1963), of the Liapunov direct method will be
brieVy illustrated. It involves functionals instead of classical
positive de.nite functions, as described in the following
result (Kolmanovskii & Nosov, 1986).
Theorem 2. The zero solution of the retarded system x(t)=

f(xt ; t) (f is supposed to take bounded sets into bounded

sets) is asymptotically stable if there exists a continuous
functional V (t; ): R C R+ , which is positive-de;nite,
decreasing, admitting an in;nitesimal upper limit 11 and
whose full derivative V (t; xt ) along the motions is negative
de;nite over a neighborhood of 0.
Extensions of the classical, quadratic Liapunov functions
have been particularly studied in the framework of LTI delay
systems. For instance, considering the simple, single-delay
= A0 x(t) + A1 x(t h);


and the functional

V (xt ) = x(t)T Px(t) +

In i.o.d. stability (independent of the delay), one considers that

the delay(s) may cover the full range [0; +[. In d.d. stability
(delay-dependent), the speci.cation h [hm ; hM ] is taken into account.
The i.o.d. stability analysis of (14) can be reduced to the stability study
of the system without delay (hi = 0) and the veri.cation that no root
of the characteristic equation can cross the imaginary axis for any frequency. This leads to frequency sweeping tests (Chen & Latchman,
1995). More details on d.d./i.o.d. stability are given in Dugard and
Verriest (1997, Chap. 1).
11 u(x); v(x): Rn R+ positive-de.nite, u((0)) 6 V (t; )
6 v(C ).

x(t + )T Sx(t + ) d


one obtains suScient conditions in the form of Riccati equations: (27) is asymptotically stable for any h 0 if there
exist positive symmetric matrices P, S, R verifying:
AT0 P + PA0 + PA1 S 1 AT1 P + S + R = 0;
or equivalently, the LMI

A0 P + PA0 + S PA1




Obviously, setting A1 = 0 makes the link with the Liapunov

equation for ODEs nevertheless, in the delayed case, this
suScient condition is far from being necessary. From here,
many generalizations have been proposed, involving the
various terms:
V1 (x(t)) = xT (t)Px(t);
V2 (xt ) = x (t)
Qi x(t + ) d;

V3 (xt ) =

V4 (xt ) =



xT (t + )Si x(t + ) d;


V6 (xt ) =



V5 (xt ) = x(t)T


xT ()Ri x() d ds;




Pi (:)x(t + :) d:;
x(t + :)T Pi (:; )x(t + ) d: d:

Roughly speaking, V2 ; V3 are used for the delay-independent

stability of discrete delays, V4 for distributed delays or
discrete-delay dependent stability (see Section 4). For instance, considering system (27), V (xt )=V1 (x(t))+V4 (xt )+
V4 (xth ) is a particular application of Kolmanovskii,
Niculescu, and Richard (1999b) that leads to the following
delay-dependent condition, with A = A0 + A1 ; R1 for V4 (xt )

J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

and R2 for V4 (xth ):

A P + PA + hR1 + hR2


1 P

hPA1 A0




the input-to-state stability (ISS) nonlinear small gain theorem. As a consequence, the ISS stabilizability of a nonlinear
system without delay is preserved for small delays at the



V5 and V6 appear, in a general form, in necessary and

suAcient schemes: Infante and Castelan (1978) for linear
retarded systems with discrete delays, Huang (1989) for distributed ones, see also Louisell (1991) for varying delays.
But, the general computation of the time-varying matrices
in V5 and V6 comes up against computational problems
and the result cannot be applied for robust stability purposes. To avoid such computational limitations, Gu (1999,
2001) introduced more particular forms of V5 ; V6 , with
piecewise-constant functions Pi (:), leading to the so-called
discretization scheme: one can thus get interesting compromises between the reduction of the conservatism and
the computional e2ort. A good summary of many of these
techniques can be found in Niculescu (2001). Recently,
Kharitonov and Zhabko (2001) proposed an other way to
overcome the computation of general Pi (:) and Pi (:; )
matrices, based on the fundamental matrix properties. Other
ways of improving the stability analysis by playing on the
modelling will be presented in Section 4.
2.2.3. The Razumikhin-type approach, control Liapunov
functions and input-to-state stability
Aside from the LiapunovKrasovskii method, let us mention brieVy: (1) The comparison techniques, which are based
on di2erential inequalities (Kato, 1973; Lakshmikantham
& Leela, 1969). (2) The method proposed by Razumikin
(1956), which involves a Liapunov function v(x(t)) whose
derivative has to be negative only for special solutions of
the system. 12
The .rst approach gives a very general framework to
the stability study of complex systems (Borne, Dambrine,
Perruquetti, & Richard, 2002, Chap. 4) and allows
stability domain estimation. Nevertheless, in terms of
stabilization, it may turn out to be conservative since it
leads to nonconvex problems. The LiapunovRazumikhin
technique also generally leads to conservative results,
but it applies to time-varying delays without restriction but boundedness (0 6 h(t) ), whereas classical Krasovskii techniques require a bounded derivative
6  1). Besides, the relative computational sim(h(t)
plicity of Razumikhin functions permitted to generalize the notion of control Liapunov function to delay
systems (Jankovic, 2001). It was also shown in Teel
(1998) that the common Razumikhin-type theorem (Hale
& Verduyn-Lunel, 1993, p. 152) is the condition of


In the case of constant delays, it is easy to build a functional v(xt ) =

maxh660 w(()) from a Razumikhin function w(x(t)) (Kolmanovskii
& Myshkis, 1999, p. 254). Thus, the Razumikhin technique can be
considered as a particular case of the Krasovskii one.

2.2.4. Inputoutput stability

A TDS can be considered as a causal mapping F from a
space of inputs U L 13 to a space of outputs V L .
For linear maps, basic results were stated in Georgiou
and Smith (1992) (delay systems in the form ehs G(s)).
More general ones (multiple state and input delays)
can be found in Georgiou and Smith (1999) and the
herein references. The causal operator F is said to be
BIBO stable (or stable) if F0 = 0 and F|U  ,
sup{FuT =uT : u U; T 0; uT = 0} , with
fT , ess supt[0; T ] f(t).
For nonlinear maps, the robustness properties were considered in Georgiou and Smith (1997) by introducing alternative stability notions (which coincide in the linear case).
Several examples of the robustness w.r.t. small delays were
given and the approach was speci.cally used for nonlinear
systems in Bonnet, Partington, and Sorine (1999, 2000).
2.3. Structural properties consideration
Compared to ODEs, the controllability and observability
of delay systems present three main di2erences:
(1) The .rst is related to the state variables: as for any
functional model, the actual notion of controllability means
to reach a function (which here means to assign the vector
x(t) from time t1 to time t1 + h), instead of reaching a point
at a time t1 (which was the case for ODEs).
(2) The second di2erence is linked with time: For a linear
system without delay starting at time t1 , any point that can
be reached at time t2 t1 can also be reached at time t1 +
(t2 t1 ),  0. But, delays introduce the existence of a
required, minimum reaching time. 14 Thus, in addition to
the usual controllability indices that correspond to reachable
spaces, one must add another kind of indices (class of the
system) de.ning how many units of delays the system needs
for reaching the target.
(3) Lastly, the question of the nature and realization of
the control law to be implemented also constitutes an important issue: the generic expression of the state-feedback
law is u(t) = g(xt ), which means that the controller
has in.nite dimension. One may prefer to restrict it to
memoryless controls u(t) = g(x(t)) or to point-wisedelayed controls u(t) = g(x(t); x(t hi )).
Some de.nitions will be recalled here. Further correspondences between di2erent properties in a unifying framework
(in the module theory and behavioral approach) are given in
13 L
denotes the set of complex-valued measurable functions f on
the nonnegative real axis such that ess: suptR+ f(t) .
14 Obviously, the simple system x(t)=x(t)+u(t1)

cannot be controlled
within 1 s.


J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

Fliess and Mounier (1995), GlMusing-LMuerNen (1997a) and

Loiseau and Rabah (1997).

The transfer function (1 + e2s )=(s + es =2) was taken as

an example in Loiseau (1994). 15

Denition 3 (M2 -, or approximate M2 controllability;

Delfour & Mitter, 1972). The state xZ0 is M2 -controllable
at time t to xZ1 M2 ([ h; 0]; Rn ) if there is a sequence of
Z xZ0 ; ui )
controls {ui } de.ned in L2 ([0; t]; Rm ) such that x(t;
converges to xZ1 (in the sense of the norm over M2 ). The
system is M2 -controllable at time t if all states xZ0 are
M2 -controllable at time t to any xZ1 M2 ([ h; 0]; Rn ). It
is M2 -strictly controllable if, in the previous de.nition, the
sequence {ui } is replaced by a control u.

Denition 7 (Euclidean-, or Rn -controllability, see Lafay,

Fliess, Mounier, and Sename (1996)). The linear system (14) is Rn -controllable if, for any initial condition
C and x1 Rn , there is a time t1 0 and a control
law u(t) L2 ([0; t1 ]; Rm ) such that x(t1 ; ; u) = x1 . It is
strongly Rn -controllable if any time t1 0 can be taken.
If the property is restricted to x1 = 0, then the system is
Rn -controllable to the origin.

Denition 4 (Absolute controllability; Olbrot, 1973). The

linear system x(t)
= A0 x(t) + i=0 Bi u(t i), is absolutely
controllable if, for any initial condition {x0 ; u(t)t[k; 0] },
there is a time t1 0 and a bounded control law u(t) such
that x(t1 ) = 0 with u(t) = 0 for all t [t1 k; t1 ].
A necessary and suScient condition for absolute controllability is rank[E; A0 E; : : : ; A0n1 E] = n, with E =
k iA0
Bi . However, this property needs u(t) = 0 for
i=0 e
all t [t1 k; t1 ]: Such an ending free-motion is too
constraining in general. In the following de.nition, this
constraint does not exist.
Denition 5 (( ; Rn )-controllability; Weiss, 1967; Olbrot,
1973). The linear system (14) is ( ; Rn )-controllable (with
regard to some function C) if, for any initial condition C, there is a .nite time t1 0 and a control law
u(t) L2 ([0; t1 + h], Rm ) such that x(t; ; u) = (t t1 h)
for all t [t1 ; t1 + h].
For single-delay systems, the (0; Rn )-controllability can
be checked through Grammian properties (Weiss, 1967).
Denition 6 (Spectral controllability; Manitius & Olbrot,
1979). The system (14) with notation (16) is spectrally controllable if
rank[sI A(es ); B(es )] = n;

s C:


The spectral controllability provides very interesting

bases for e2ective control of linear systems. It is a functional
property, but only applies to the problem of controlling the
spectrum (A) (20): system (14) is stabilizable if and only
if (33) holds for any s C, Re(s) 0 (see a constructive
proof in BrethFe (1997) and GlMusing-LMuerNen (1997a), based
on BFezout domain properties). Spectral properties easily
extend to structural analysis (stabilizability, detectability,
etc.): Any causal transfer matrix on R(s; es ), as Eq. (21),
admits a stabilizable and spectrally observable realization.
It also admits a detectable and spectrally controllable realization. It was nonetheless noted that the notion of minimal
realization (in the sense of spectral controllability and
spectral observability, as well as minimum number of integration s1 and delay es operators) does not always exist:

This de.nition is not a functional, but a point-wise property. There are three noteworthy di2erences with ODEs:
The trajectory may not stay at x1 after t1 :
Except in the rare case of strong controllability, the time
t1 cannot be as small as desired.
The Rn -controllability is not equivalent to the
Rn -controllability to the origin.
Denition 8 (Ring-, or R[ ]-controllability, see Lafay
et al. (1996)). The linear system over ring (16) is
controllable over the ring R[ ] or strongly controllable, if there exists a control law of polynomial type
u(t) = f(x; x; 2 x; : : :), allowing one to reach any element
of the module Rn [ ] from any initial state x0 Rn [ ].
It is controllable over the .eld R( ) or weakly controllable, if there exists a control law of rational type
u(t) = f(x; x; 2 x; : : : ; 1 x; 2 x; ) allowing one to
reach any element of the module Rn [ ] from any initial
state x0 Rn [ ].
This de.nition is not of the functional type, but it
emphasizes the complexity of the control to be applied. The
corresponding necessary and suScient conditions can be expressed in terms of the controllability submodule associated
with the pair (A; B), i.e. A=Im B = Im B + A2 Im B+ +
An1 Im B, or equivalently in terms of the controllability matrix A=B = [B; AB; A2 B; : : : ; An1 B]. The survey
paper Lafay et al. (1996) shows that, for a LTI system
(13) with commensurate delays, the following implications
hold (and other additional ones, using the notion of torsion
(1) Strong R[ ]-controllability Absolute controllability Weak R( )-controllability Rn -controllability.
(2) Approximate controllability Spectral controllability Weak R( )-controllability.
This means that strong controllability is a very demanding
property, since the system must be controllable as if it was
an ODE.

15 As it was shown in Sontag (1977), even minimal realizations over

rings may be not isomorphic, so that there may be no canonical choice
for a realization.

J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

The classical notion of controllability indices has been

extended to delay systems (Picard & Lafay, 1995, providing
interesting information about the smallest time t1 that is
needed for given state variables (controllability submodules)
to reach the expected value x1 in Rn .
These notions can be transposed to the observability (see
Picard, Sename, and Lafay, 1996 and references therein),
except for neutral systems that are not formally stable (unstable di2erence operator, see Section 2.2): Here, the problem of asymptotic observers is still open.
3. Limits of the nite dimension approximations
3.1. Rational approximations
The main interest for approximating a delay with some
rational approximation lies in the hope of treating an
in.nite-dimensional system like a .nite-dimensional one.
Approximating delays by means of rational transfer functions (shift-operator techniques) generally involves the
truncation of some in.nite series, and can be achieved via
the following approximation:
where p R[hs] is an appropriate polynomial without any zero in the right half-plane Re s 0. Let us
mention in particular the well known PadFe-.rst order
approximation (p(hs) = (1 (hs=2))), the Laguerre
Fourier series (p(hs) = (1 (hs=2n))n ), the Kautz series
(p(hs)=(1(hs=2n)+(h2 s2 =8n2 ))n ), the second-order PadFe
shift (p(hs) = (1 (hs=2n)
(h2 s2 =12n2 ))n ) and the diago+
nal PadFe shift (pn (hs) = k=0 (2n k)!(hs)k =k!(n k)!,
n 3).
To mention only the recent results, several of these
models have been compared, for stable systems, in terms
of the H2 ; H and L errors in MMakilMa and Partington
(1999a, b): an exact asymptotic H error formula was
given, which provides an appealing approach for determining .nite-dimensional, LTI models of open-loop systems
with delay. Zhang, Knospe, and Tsiotras (2000) used the
diagonal PadFe shift to derive a d.d., suScient stability condition, the conservatism degree of which has a calculable
upper-bound. In Al-Amer and Al-Sunni (2000), an order
reduction technique is adapted so as to minimize the H
gap over a given bandwidth (however, the only open-loop
was concerned). Time-domain methods (spline approximations (Banks & Kappel, 1979)), frequency-domain
methods (Gu, Khargonekar, & Lee, 1992), Hankel operator
based methods (Glover, Lam, & Partington, 1990; Glader,
Hognas, MMakilMa, & Toivonen, 1991; Ohta & Kojima, 1999)
as well as Blaschke product truncations (Yoon & Lee,
1997) were also considered.
These techniques concern the approximation of the delay
terms from their open-loop properties, i.e. from the operator
ehs . In Beghi, Lepschy, and Viaro (1997), generalized by


Battle and Miralles (2000), it was argued that, for control

purposes, the consideration of the closed-loop characteristics
can lead to better suited approximations. Then, a method
for obtaining rational approximations was derived from the
analysis of the closed-loop operator ehs =(1 + aehs ) with
a constant (Beghi et al., 1997) or polynomial (Battle &
Miralles, 2000) input u(t). In the simplest case, one obtains
p(hs) = 64 + 4 hs + 62 h2 s2 + h3 s3 2 24h3 s3 . Compared
to the classical PadFe approximations of the same order, it
was claimed to widen the frequency range.
Rational approximations can also be combined with an
in.nite dimensional delay-operator so as to check the robustness of a system with a small uncertainty on the delay.
Consider a delay operator ehs ; with h = h0 + ]h1 , h0 the
estimated mean value of the delay, h1 the (known) maximum error on the delay magnitude and ] [ 1; 1]. Then,
one can use a low order PadFe approximation of the unknown delay e]h1 s , or a pseudo-delay approach. Provided
that the incertitude h1 remains small, such a combination
avoids high-order rational approximations, and transforms
the problem of robustness w.r.t. delay uncertainties into a
problem of robustness w.r.t. multiplicative uncertainties on
the rational transfer function. Regarding PadFe approximations, it was used in connection with ?-analysis in Wang
and Skogestad (1993) so as to derive suScient conditions
for the stability over a delay interval [h0 h1 ; h0 + h1 ], and
in Fattouh, Sename, and Dion (2000) for a robust observer
But, as said in the introduction, replacing a delay by some
.nite-dimensional approximation can also be a source of
problems or, at least, constitutes a limitation in their analysis:
(a) Linear systems with a single constant delay remain
the favorite domain of application for these methods. But,
even in this case, designing controllers that stabilize PadFe
approximations may lead to unstable behaviors of the true
system (Silva, Datta, & Battacharya, 2001). The problem
of choosing the order of the approximation a priori can be
diScult, as well as proving the closed-loop stability on the
basis of such a reduced open-loop model (see the solutions
given, on the basis of coprime factorizations, in Partington
(1991)). Besides, the main drawback of rational approximations is their high order. It is not possible to approximate the
delay operator ehs arbitrarily closely by rational functions
in the sense of the H norm. If, however, one tries to approximate (1=(s + a))ehs , for some a 0, then the optimal
H error of a rational approximation of order n is O(1=n).
In the time domain (in L1 norm), it has turned out that
the best rate for approximation known, so far, is O(log n=n)
(see Glover & Partington, 1987). The suboptimalbut easy
to calculateapproximation: (1=(s + a))((2n hs)=(2n +
hs))n achieves a slower convergence, in O(n2=3 ) (MMakilMa &
Partington, 1999b). One can conclude that delays can be
fairly approximated by rational functions only at the cost of
high orders, when one always wishes to keep the order of the
approximation as low as possible. The control techniques
become more cumbersome the higher the order and, in the


J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

end, can be as complicated as a direct synthesis on the initial model with delay. The same problem occurs in system
identi.cation (Wang & Zhang, 2001): On the contrary, several modelling methods introduce delays so as to simplify
the models of high-order rational transfer functions. For instance, such authors as Khan and Lehman (1996) and Majhi
and Atherton (1999), provided relay-feedback identi.cation
methods leading to .rst (or second) order-plus-delay transfer functions. Another example is given by the StrejFc models
T (s) = kehs =(1 + s)n , which are also classically used to
identify stable industrial processes with aperiodic transients.
(b) For constant but unknown delays, i.e. h [0; hM ],
the above-mentioned results may allow stability analyzes
but cannot be applied straightforwardly to a control law: Besides the fact that the diSculty in choosing the
truncation increases, it is not clear how they can be used
for designing speci.c controllers as those including delays:
Smith-predictor-like, non-static feedbacks with discrete or
distributed delays, etc. And even if one considered the only
stability analysis, there exist other competitive ways, as
the pseudo-delay technique (see Section 4.4). MacDonald
(1989, Chap. 7) preferred this last to any approximation
method, and the same conclusion was reached by Walton
and Marshall (1987).
(c) Rational approximations are inappropriate for
time-varying delays. For instance, it was shown that a simple, .rst-order system with a variable delay can be unstable
while each of the values taken by the delay (when constant)
provides a stable model. The following example, in which
the delay h(t) corresponds to a sampling device with a unit
= ax(t) + bx(t h(t));
h(t) = t k;

t ]k; (k + 1)];

(thus; 0 6 h(t) 6 1);


3.2. Discrete-time approximations

Sampling may constitute another kind of a .nite approximation. In order to ensure the correspondence between the
s-transfer function ehs and the z-transfer function z m , the
delay h has to be constant and known, i.e. h = mT . Choosing the sampling period T as a submultiple of the delay
h = mT avoids introducing additional dynamics (possibly
unstable) in the discrete z-transfer function. But, robustness
issues with regard to the delay value cannot be analyzed
via this discretization. Moreover, the discretized z-transfer
function of a system with time-varying delays via periodic
sampling has no physical meaning. The dimension of the
model obtained increases with the sampling frequency and,
reciprocally, using a constant sampling period on a variable
delay cannot be studied via a usual z-transfer function with
constant order.
On the contrary, developing the theory of systems with
time-varying delays may be of help to analyze the implementation problems. Any sampling device can be regarded
as a time-varying delay process: the periodic delay de.ned
in Eq. (36) corresponds to a T -periodic sampling (see some
comments in Louisell (2001)). Samplers with a varying period can be modelled by continuous time systems with more
general varying delays as well.
4. Modelling in connection with stability studies
This section presents some links between the stability
analysis of delay systems and the way one transforms their
state-space representation.
4.1. LeibnizNewton formula

k N

was considered in Hirai and Satoh (1980) for a = 3:5

and b = 4. It is unstable, even if its characteristic roots
have negative real parts for any constant h(t) h 6 1. For
a = 1, b = 1:5, it is asymptotically stable, whereas linear LTI conditions do not hold (see also Louisell (2001)
for other instability counterexamples). Thus, choosing a
mean value of the delay and applying .nite-dimensional approximations (as rational ones) cannot be justi.ed for the
(d) Lastly, note that in the case of nonlinear or
time-varying FDEs, .nite-dimension approximations do
not allow the analysis of the kind of complexity we have
seen in Section 2.1.1.
Thus, regarding these techniques, the precautions one has
to take in choosing the truncation order, the high order one
.nally may have to cope with, as well as the limitations
of the class of models one can deal with, constitute a real
motivation for developing techniques that are speci.cally
tailored for delay systems.

A link between modelling and stability will be emphasized here: The major part of the d.d. stability conditions
were obtained by using some other formulation of the initial, generally LTI system. As a general observation, one
can .rst note that, for the prototype system:
x Rn

= A1 x(t) + A2 x(t h);


i.o.d. stability demands A0 to be Hurwitz (which, coherently,

can be found in condition (30)). On the contrary, the criteria ensuring d.d. stability for h [0; hM [ require the matrix
A1 + A2 to be Hurwitz (which can be found in condition
(32). On this basis, several results
 t concerning d.d. stability
have derived, from the formula: th x(s)
ds=x(t)x(t h),
the following change of variable (see Goubet-Bartholomeus,
Dambrine, and Richard (1997) in the single-delay case,
Niculescu and Chen (1999) for multiple delays, and many
other references in Gu and Niculescu (2001)):
Ai x(t h) = [Ai Li ]x(t hi )

+ Li x(t)
ds :


J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

This allows the transformation of the system:



Ai x(t hi ) (with; possibly; h1 = 0);



into a model with augmented delay h = max(hi + hj ),


Li x(t) +
[Ai Li ]x(t hi )



i=1; j=1


Li Aj x(s hj ) ds:


In this way, an unstable nondelayed part [A1 ] in (37) can

be replaced with a stable one, [L1 ] in (40). Such decomposition can be optimized via LMI algorithms for stability
purposes. Note that it increases the number of characteristic roots (Gu & Niculescu, 2001). This principle can also
be generalized to other changes (Kolmanovskii & Richard,
1999): the above system
can be written in the three folm
lowing forms (A = i=1 Ai , Aij = Ai Aj , hij = hi + hj ):

x(s) ds;
= Ax(t)
= Ax(t)







x(t) +
x(s) ds = Ax(t):


hi Aij R1 BijT P = Q;

i; j=1



(hi PAi R1 BiT P + mhATi RAi ) = Q;





Ri h i +


i Ai PAhi = Q:

i; j=1

System (39) is asymptotically stable if, for some symmetric

positive matrices Ri and Q, there is a positive solution P to
one of the three previous Riccati equations (Kolmanovskii,
Tchangani, & Richard, 1998). The resulting conditions depend on all the delays values, but the dependency can be reduced to some chosen delays (Kolmanovskii et al., 1999b),
by adapting the transformations. However, the stability properties of the original and transformed systems are not equivalent: Whereas the stability of (41) implies the stability of

The descriptor form (Fridman, 2001; Fridman &

Shaked, 2002), which also corresponds to a 2-D model,
uses transformation (38), but enriches it through singular
systems techniques; the idea consists in rewriting the general delay system (11), in free motion (u(t) 0), under the
singular form:
= z(t);


0 z(t)
= z(t) +

Distributed delays were also considered in these references.


Dl z(t !l )



Ai x(t hi ) +


Each formulation can be studied by using speci.c Liapunov

Krasovskii functionals (31) via a formal two-step procedure (Kolmanovskii, 1995), leading to the three di2erent
Riccati equations, with J = AT P + PA:
J + mRh + P

4.2. The descriptor form




(39) (Kolmanovskii et al., 1998), the converse problem

was addressed in Kharitonov and Melchior-Aguliar (2000).
In fact, the stability of the .rst or second transformed
systems is not necessary, since they introduce additional
dynamics (Gu & Niculescu, 2001), the poles of which are
absent from the original spectrum. 17 The stability of the
third transformed system is necessary, but the proof of
its suSciency
the auxiliary, di2erence equation
x(t) + i=1 Ai thi x(s) ds = 0 to be asymptotically stable.


i; j=1





Gj () x() d

which, in turn, is transformed via (38) with Ai = Li . Then,

a LiapunovKrasovskii functional of the following type is
used (with X T (t) = [xT (t); z T (t)]):
V (xt ; zt ) = X T (t)EPX (t) + V3 (xt ) + V4 (zt );










P1 = P1T :


Here, notation V3 ; V4 refers to (31). Note that, because

of matrix E; it is a degenerate functional (i.e., non
positive-de.nite), which corresponds to the way of dealing
with singularly perturbed systems. A convenient choice of
V3 ; V4 can be deduced from a LMI optimization. The results
apply to both retarded and neutral systems with polytopic
uncertainties. To aim at conciseness, we give here the condition relative to the simple system (27): It is asymptotically
stable if one can .nd P1 = P1T 0; P2 ; P3 ; Q = QT ; R = RT ,
such that

A P2 + P2T A
P1 P2T + AT P3 hP2T A1

P1 P2 + P T A P3 P T + hR hP T A1 0:

hA1 P2
hA1 P3

For instance, transformation

(41) applied to system (37) gives: x(t)
[A1 x(s) + A2 x(s h)] ds, which poles are the
(A1 + A2) x(t) A2 th
zeros of: det(In [(1 esh )=s]A2 ) det(sIn A1 A2 esh ), whereas the
poles of (37) are the zeros of det(sIn A1 A2 esh ). If A2  h1 ,
then (41) is unstable even if (37) is stable (Gu & Niculescu, 1999).


J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

4.3. The predictor-like techniques

4.4. Pseudo-delay techniques

The so-called Artstein model reduction (Artstein,

1982), also introduced in Kwon and Pearson (1980), Lewis
(1979) and Slater and Wells (1972), is often involved when
one considers systems with input delay,

The stability of the simple system (37) is based on the

roots of the characteristic equation

= Ax(t) + Bu(t h);

x(t) Rn :

Introducing the new variable

z(t) = x(t) +
eA(th) Bu() d;



reduces (48) to a system free-of-delay

= Az(t) + eAh Bu(t);

z(t) Rn :


From this, computing a classical state feedback u(t)=K0 z(t)

is straightforward, provided that (A; B) is stabilizable (thus,
so is (A; eAh B)).
 t The resulting control law is distributed:
u(t) = K0 x(t) + th K0 eA(th) Bu() d.
The problem with delay on the state is more complicated.
The following system was considered in Fiagbedzi and
Pearson (1986),
= A0 x(t) + A0 x(t h) + B0 u(t) + B1 u(t ')


together with the linear transformation

z(t) = x(t) +
eA(th) A1 x() d



eA(t') B1 u() d:


The reduced model is then:

= Az(t) + Bu(t);
A = A0 + eAh A1 ;
B = B0 + e



The critical values of h which may exhibit a stability bifurcation correspond to the imaginary roots of (54), with
|d(j!)=n(j!)| = |ehj! | = 1. Thus, the general idea of
pseudo-delay techniques is, at .rst, to look for the possible intersections of the ratio curve d(j!)=n(j!) with the
unit circle. This de.nes the possible crossing frequencies
!i . In such a technique, the delay ehs can be equivalently replaced with a convenient rational transfer function
pn (sT )=pd (sT ) with a unit modulus. Then, the possible
crossing frequencies !i are obtained by checking the equation: d(j!)pn (j!T ) + n(j!)pd (j!T ) = 0 for increasing
values of the parameter T ]0; +[. This equation is simply polynomial, and whenever a pair (!i ; Ti ) provides a
solution, corresponding delays are found. The parameter
T is called the pseudo-delay. Rekasius (1980) involved
the transformation pn (sT )=pd (sT ) = (1 sT )=(1 + sT ).
Thowsen (1981), by using (1 sT )2 =(1 + sT )2 , obtained the following result, related to (14) without
Theorem 9. s=j!; ! 0, is a root of the quasi-polynomial
di (s)eis for some  0 i/ it is also a root of
for some T 0.
i=0 di (s)(1 sT ) (1 + sT )


det(sI A1 A2 esh ) = d(s) + n(s)ehs = 0:

z(t) Rn ;

B1 :

But solving the characteristic matrix Eq. (53) is not simple anymore. Fiagbedzi and Pearson (1986) have limited
the problem to the computation of the (.nite number of)
unstable eigenvalues and eigenvectors of this equation:
An application (simulation) to the idle speed control for
fuel injected engines was presented in Glielmo, Santini,
and Cascella (2000). Still more generally, applying such
transformation to (22) needs the unstable eigenstructure of
the characteristic matrix equation A = h eA dK() to be
Because the controllers derived from Artstein reduction
involve integral terms like those implied in (49), (52), they
can be considered as belonging to the class of predictor techniques. They may su2er from being sensitive to parameter
uncertainties and, still more, to delay mismatches. However,
they constitute an irreplaceable and widely used tool for systems with an input delay.

Such transformations remind us of the shift approximation (34). But, as mentioned in Niculescu (2001, p. 137),
the pseudo-delay technique is not an approximation; it is
more precisely connected to the classical bilinear application: C C, z = ej!h  w = (1 z)=(1 + z) = j tan !h=2,
well known in digital control and signal processing, and
which realizes a mapping of the unit circle onto the imaginary axis. This explains why such a technique takes place
into the framework of model transformations.
Among the connected techniques, let us mention a result by Walton and Marshall (1987), who makes use of the
equation d(j!)d(j!) n(j!)n(j!) = 0 (thus, pn =pd =
d(s)=n(s)), which leads to a handy criterion in the
single-delay case (54).
4.5. Towards robustness techniques
Improving an original idea proposed in Fu, Li, and
Niculescu (1997) (see also Niculescu, 2001, p. 154),
Jun and Safonov (2000) studied the stability of (27) for
h [0; hM ] through an associated interconnected feedback
scheme (Fig. 2), the form of which allows classical robustness tools as Integral Quadratic Constraint (IQC),
(Megretski & Rantzer, 1997; Safonov, 1980) techniques to
be used.

J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694


1971). In Jun and Safonov (2000), the choice


Fig. 2. Interconnected feedback system.

In this scheme, the block , contains the delay characteristics. In what follows, A = A0 + A1 is supposed to be
asymptotically stable, which is the condition for (27) to be
stable for h = 0. In the form proposed by Jun and Safonov
(2000), the operator , has the Laplace transform 1(s) =
(ehs 1)=hs and the system corresponding to the block
G(s) is de.ned by
= Ax(t) + Bu(t);
y(t) = Cx(t) + Du(t);


u(t) = ,(y(t));
A = A 0 + A1 ;
B = hH;
A1 = HE;
q 6 n;

C = EA;
H Rnq ;

D = hEH;
E Rqn ;

H and E are full rank matrices:

The result is that the asymptotic stability of (55) is

equivalent to that of system (27). The proof lies in
the following rewriting: (sI A0 A1 ehs )x = 0
(sI (I h1(s)A1 )1 (A0 + A1 ))x = 0. Then, (27) is
asymptotically stable if and only if the .rst involved matrix
is nonsingular in the right half-plane Re s 0, thus if and
only if the second is nonsingular, too. This second matrix
corresponds to (55).
The IQC theorem requires some operator D to verify the
following integral-quadratic constraint for any  in [0; 1]:

[y (t); ,(y(t))]dt 0:

One can thus guarantee the stability of (55) provided that A

is stable and:

4 0; ! R; [G T (j!); I ]D
6 4I:
This frequency-dependent matrix inequality can be transformed into an equivalent nonfrequency-dependent LMI via
the KalmanYakubovichPopov (KYP) lemma (Willems,

led to the following (suScient) stability criterion: Eq. (27)

is asymptotically stable if there are two symmetric positive
matrices P 0; Q 0 and a skew-symmetric matrix S such
that the following matrix is negative:

A P + PA + C T QC
PB + C T S + C T QD
BT P + S T C + DT QC Q + DT QC + S T D + DT S
A more general class of models has been presented in
Huang and Zhou (2000): multiple delays hi were taken
into consideration with, possibly, nonzero lower-bounds
(i.e. hi [him ; hiM ]). The robustness technique is di2erent
(small-? synthesis, Tits & Balakrishnan, 1998). But, in order to deal with him 0, the subsystem G(s) includes delay
elements ehim s ; moreover, the results may be conservative.
In this framework of robust control, the generalized Popov
theory (Ionescu, Oara, & Weiss, 1998) was also extended
to state-delayed systems (Ionescu, Niculescu, Dion, Dugard,
& Li, 2001). It aims at providing an interpretation of feedback stabilization and H control problems for systems
with discrete or distributed delays in terms of Popov triplets
E = (A; B; P),

R(n+m)(n+m) ;
for which a KYP system in J (i.e., a nonlinear system
with unknown matrices X; V; W ) has to be solved:
R = V T JV;
L + XB = W T JV;
Q + AT X + XA = W T JW:
Before closing this subsection, we just mention the paper
Verriest and Aggoune (1998) in which several robustness
techniques (KYP lemma, Strict Bounded Real Lemma,
absolute stability, passivity) were applied to the stability
analysis of linear, discrete-delay systems with nonlinear
4.6. Linear time-varying approximations
In Banks (2002), the nonlinear system (here, without the
= A(x(t); x(t h))x(t);
x() = ();

h 6  6 0


is replaced by the following sequence of linear, time-varying

x[i] (t) = A(x[i1] (t); x[i1] (t h))x[i] (t);
x[i] () = ();

h 6  6 0:



J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

If A(:; :) is locally Lipschitz in both variables, then it is shown

that the sequence of functions x[i] () converges in C([0; T ]),
for some T ]0; h]; to the solution of (56). The stability
study involves a nilpotent Lie algebra associated to (57) and
is achieved in terms of a particular Liapunov transformation.
The stabilizing control can be studied as well.

5. Some control approaches

5.1. A brief overview
Since the Smith posicast control (Smith, 1957) and
predictor (Smith, 1959) in the late 1950s, the control via
or of delay systems has been widely considered. Many
of the techniques were based on approximation methods,
which are not necessarily convenient when signi.cant
uncertaintiesincluding delay variationsare involved.
During the last 10 years, many studies were devoted to
the control of TDS: Table 3, provides some references. Of
course, if the control can be studied with some success
in the case of unperturbed, LTI, open-loop-stable models, the domain remains widely open in more complex
5.2. Optimal control and the Bellman equation
Here, only the broad outlines of the dynamic programming method will be explained for systems with state delays.
More details can be found in Kolmanovskii and Shaikhet
(1996) and the references herein. The basic tool for retarded
systems is the Bellman functional equation. Consider the
= f(t; xt ; u);
x() = ();

0 6 t 6 T;


h 6  6 0:

the solution on the interval t 6 s 6 T of which is denoted

by x(t; s; u) (it is viewed as a function of s). The functional trajectory is denoted, consistently with notation xt , by
xs (t; u) = x(t; s + ; u) for  [ h; 0]. The performance criterion is supposed to be
J (u) = F0 (xT ) +
F1 (t; xt ; u(t; xt )) dt;

where F0 and F1 are scalar functionals. The corresponding

Bellman functional V (t; ); C, is de.ned by

V (t; ) = inf F0 (xT (t; u)) +
F1 (s; xs (t; u); u) ds ;

where U Rm stands for the set of admissible controls

(those for which (58) has a solution with a .nite criterion
(59)). The total derivative of V (t; ) under the control u is
calculated as Lu V (t; ) = lim40 (1=4)[V (t + 4; xt+4 (t; u))
V (t; xt (t; u))]. Then, the optimal control u (t) U is the

one that inf uU [Lu V (t; ) + F1 (t; ; u)] =

Lu V (t; ) + F1 (t; ; u (t; )) = 0, V (T; ) = F0 ().
5.3. Sliding mode control
The sliding mode control (shortly, SMC) has a large historical background, belonging to the framework of variable
structure systems. One of the reasons is that many physical
systems naturally present some discontinuity in their dynamics, as for mechanical systems with a Coulomb friction
or controls by power electronics. The second reason is that
arti.cial introduction of discontinuity in the control can be
used as in.nite gains, able to scratch down a large class
of input and parameter disturbances. Thirdly, the performance speci.cation can be achieved easily when .nite-time
convergence is ensured. In a .nite-dimension framework
(then, without delay), it is known that if a complex system
can be written in a so-called normal form (developed by
Lukyanov, Utkin, Fliesssee Perruquetti & Barbot, 2002),
then an appropriate sliding mode strategy can be designed
so as to dominate the nonlinear terms and the disturbances,
provided the disturbance appropriate matching
The combination of delay phenomena with relay actuators or sensors 18 makes the situation much more complex (Fridman, Fridman, & Shustin, 1996). The presence
of delay within a sliding mode control can induce oscillations around the sliding surface (see experimental results in
Choi & Hedrick, 1998), especially given delayed inputs. A
simple example (Richard, Gouaisbaut, & Perruquetti, 2001)
pointed out behavioral changes (bifurcations) arising when
designing a controller without taking an input delay into
consideration. This motivates the study of speci.c SMC design for systems with state and/or input aftere2ect.
Despite some extension of SMC to in.nite-dimensional
systems (Orlov, 2000; Orlov & Utkin, 1987) and of differential inclusions to aftere2ect systems (Kolmanovskii &
Myshkis, 1992, p. 55), the concrete control results are not
so numerous (Aggoune, 1999; Bonnet et al., 1999; Cheres,
Gutman, & Palmor, 1989; Choi, 1999; Choi & Hedrick,
1998; Dambrine, Gouaisbaut, Perruquetti, & Richard, 1998;
El-Khazaly, 1998; Georgiou & Smith, 1997; Gouaisbaut,
Dambrine, & Richard, 2002; Gouaisbaut, Perruquetti, Orlov,
& Richard, 1999a; Gouaisbaut, Perruquetti, & Richard,
1999b; Luo & De la Sen, 1992, 1993; Shyu & Yan, 1993).
To give an introductory summary on the possibilities of
SMC strategies for LTDS, let us summarize the situation as
(1) For systems with state delays the ideas are essentially the same as for ODEs (making use of a normal form
(Gouaisbaut et al., 1999a)), even if design and computations
are more complicated;

Note that relay-based feedback loops were voluntarily introduced for

the delay identi.cation (see Section 6.4.1).

J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694


Table 3
Some references on control



Smith predict.
& generaliz.

^ om, Hang, and Lim (1994) and

Majhi and Atherton (1998)
Olbrot (1998) and
Fliess, Marquez, and Mounier (2001)

Niculescu (2001)


Model match.,
Feedb. precomp.

Fridman and Shaked (2002),

Meinsma and Zwart (2000) and
Mirkin and Tadmor (2002)
Nguang (1998), Tadmor (2000),
Watanabe et al. (1996)
BartholomFeuM s, Dambrine, and Richard
(1997), Hennet and Tarbouriech (1998) and
Mazenc, Mondie, and Niculescu (2001)
Conte and Perdon (1995) and
Rabah and Malabre (1999)
Conte and Perdon (1997)
Picard et al. (1997) and
Picard, Lafay, and Kucera (1998)
De Santis, Germani, and Jetto (1993),
Gibson (1983) and
Kolmanovskii and Shaikhet (1996)
Belkoura, Dambrine, Richard, and Orlov
(1998) and Kolmanovskii and Shaikhet
Watanabe et al. (1996)
Dugard and Verriest (1997, Chap. 7)
Lehman and Weibel (1998)
Nilsson (1998)



Palmor (1996)
Dugard and Verriest (1997)
and Kharitonov (1998)
Niculescu (2001)

Richard et al. (1997)

Cao and Lam (2000) and
Gao, Huang, and Wang (2001)

Niculescu, Dion, and Dugard (1996)

Dambrine, Richard, and Borne (1995)

and Dugard and Verriest (1997)

see Sect. 6.4.3

Moog et al. (2000)

Kolmanovskii and Shaikhet (1996)

and Pepe (1996)

Kolmanovskii and Shaikhet (1996)

and Pepe (1996)

Lehman (2002)

Youcef-Toumi and Ito (1990)

BrethFe (1997), GlMusing-LMuerNen (1997a)
and Watanabe et al. (1996)
see Section 5.3
Wu and Grigoriadis (2001)
Bonnet and Partington (2001) and
Hotzel and Fliess (1998)
Niculescu and Lozano (2001)

Liap. fct
Lim. cycle,

(2) The presence of an input delay still leads to open

problems: To our best knowledge, few papers considered
this case (Bonnet et al., 1999; Choi & Hedrick, 1998;
Dambrine et al., 1998; Gouaisbaut et al., 1999b) and,

Kolmanovskii, Maizenberg, and Richard

(2003) and Kolmanovskii and Myshkis
Chang, Lee, and Park (1997),
Chang and Park (1998) and
Youcef-Toumi and Wu (1992)

Sira-Ramirez and Angulo-Nunez (1998)

and Verriest and Aggoune (1998)
Jankovic (2001) and
Teel (1998)
Mounier and Rudolph (1998), Petit
(2000) and Rudolph and Mounier (2000)
Germani, Manes, and Pepe (1996)
and Moog et al. (2000)
Oguchi, Watanabe, and Nakamizo (1998)
and Youcef-Toumi and Wu (1992)
Aernouts et al. (2000) and
Hale and Verduyn-Lunel (1993)

most of the time, even matching additive disturbance

cannot be completely rejected, which implies (in the best
case) the ultimate boundedness instead of the asymptotic


J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

5.3.1. SMC for systems with state delays

In Aggoune (1999), Cheres et al. (1989) 19 , Choi (1999),
El-Khazaly (1998), Gouaisbaut et al., (1999a, 2002), Luo
and De la Sen (1993), Shyu and Yan (1993), and Zheng,
Cheng, and Gao (1995), the results only consider delayed
state variables (inputs and sensors are free of delay). InChoi
and Hedrick (1998), the aim was to reduce the chattering induced by delayed sensors, a combination with an
observer-based control was achieved on a concrete process.
Other ways of designing variable structure controllers still
yield computational diSculties: Zheng et al. (1995) relies
on the Artstein reduction (see the previous Section 4.3),
with the connected diSculties when the delay a2ects both
the state and input. In addition, the controller was not realizable for retarded inputs or sensors. Lastly, some results
need even more complete proofs. 20
5.3.2. SMC for systems with input/ouput delays
In what concerns systems with delayed inputs, an interesting work was developed in the inputoutput framework
initiated, for nonlinear system robustness, in Georgiou and
Smith (1997). This latter reference studied prototype examples of delay systems (with discontinuities) in the gap
topology. Then, in Bonnet et al. (1999), the SISO open-loop
systems considered are assumed to be LTI and BIBO stable, and to possess a delay in the numerator (here, delay is
necessary for the well-posedness of the closed loop). The
output is measured via a relay sensor (this can be extended
to other types of nonlinearities, in particular to saturated
sensors). The problem is to realize the tracking of a .xed
sinusoidal signal. In this case, a local inverse of the sign
operator (this means, relative to this reference signal) can be
de.ned and placed after the relay sensor, which allows the
.nding of an in.nite-dimensional, closed-loop controller in
a very original way. Note, however, that the robustness considered concerns additive perturbations a2ecting the output
of the local inverse control block, but not the output of
the signum sensor.
Gouaisbaut et al. (1999b) proposed a control design ensuring a robust convergence of SMC under state and input
delays. The idea was to add an integral e2ect at the input, so
as to obtain a system with increased order but without state
delay, then to combine a normal form for delay systems with
the use of the LiapunovKrasovskii method. However, this
approach may not allow a satisfactory disturbance rejection.

5.3.3. The resulting oscillations

In Fridman et al. (1996) (see also Fridman, Fridman, &
Shustin, 2000 and Perruquetti & Barbot, 2002, Chap. 10),
the question was to investigate the chattering frequency
resulting from a delayed input, which resulted in demonstrating the existence of a countable set of oscillation periods with increasing values. In most cases, 21 the rapidly
oscillating solutions are unstable. Nevertheless, such stable
solutions can be designed for nonlinear feedbacks more
complex than the two-valued sign function (Ivanov &
Losson, 1995). Designing the control so as to stabilize
rapidly oscillating solutions has the advantage of reducing
the resulting amplitude.
Using a LiapunovRazumikhin approach, an overestimation of the chattering amplitude (i.e. the determination of an
attracting neighborhood around the sliding manifold) was
also provided in a case study Dambrine et al. (1998) (see
also in Perruquetti and Barbot, 2002, Chap. 11). This also
resulted in the estimation of its asymptotic stability domain.
5.4. Time delay control
The time delay control (TDC) is a technique which
voluntarily introduces a small delay h in the control design, so as to reduce the e2ect of additive disturbances
d(t) representing unknown dynamics. It appeared in the
early 1990s (Youcef-Toumi & Ito, 1990; Youcef-Toumi &
Reddy, 1992a; Youcef-Toumi & Wu, 1992), mainly aiming
at practical issues (Hsia & Gao, 1990; Jeong & Lee, 1997;
Youcef-Toumi & Reddy, 1992b). Rather than adjusting control gains (adaptive control) or identifying model parameters, its essential idea is to use past observations regarding
both the control input and system response. For instance,
and in order to present the very basic principle of TDC,
consider a perturbed LTI system under its normal form:
xi (t) = xi+1 (t);
xn (t) =



Using the delayed derivative x(t

h) (computed from the
past measurements of x(t)) allows us to the control: 22
u(t) = v(t) + u(t h)



Cheres et al. (1989) was not directly related to SMC, but turned out
to join this class for high gain values.
20 In Roh and Oh (1999), the input is delayed and a FSA (see Section
6.2) is de.ned. But, some ambiguity arises in the proof of this result
since the ;nite time convergence to the sliding manifold is not ensured:
The proof relies on a Razumikhins approach. Such combination with
Filippovs theory has not been deeply studied and, up to now, only
Krasovskiis approach can ensure the .nite time convergence (Richard
et al., 2001). Moreover, the paper contained a mistake in the de.nition
of matched uncertainties, as underlined in Nguang (2001).


ai xi (t) + bu(t) + d(t):

xn (t h)


ai xi (t h) ;



21 This was shown (Akian, Bliman, & Sorine, 1998) in particular, for
the scalar equation x(t)
= ax(t) k sgn(x(t h), for any a 0; k 0.
This equation is involved in fuel-air regulation problems for engines with
H-sensor. It has a unique solution with a period greater than 2h and all
other periodic solutions with a period less than 2h are unstable.
22 Note this control principle can be compared, for a part, to the use of
a numerical input integrator.

J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

under which system (60) becomes

xi (t) = xi+1 (t);
xn (t) =


ai xi (t) + bv(t) + 1(t);



1(t) = d(t) d(t h):

Then, replacing the perturbation term d(t) (initial model)
with the di2erence [d(t) d(t h)] allows the rejection of
the slowly varying perturbations (for instance, low-pass .lter
in Jeong and Lee (1997)one can also think of the sliding control with reduced gains). The same principle was
developed for time delay observers (Chang et al., 1997;
Chang & Park, 1998).
6. Some open problems
6.1. Using the delayed inputs
As mentioned previously, many results have been published about the control of systems with state delays but
without input or output delays. They lead to memoryless controllers, which means control laws of the form
u(t)=Kx(t), or to more general controllers with memory that
include, nevertheless, an 
instantaneous feedback term (for
example: u(t) = Kx(t) + i Ki x(t hi )).
But a much more diScult and challenging question is to
control a process without instantaneous measurement access
to state variables, or via delayed actuators. This question
was the original one settled by Tsypkin (1946) and, later, by
Smith (1959). For instance, it would be of theoretical and
practical interest to consider systems such as:
= A0 x(t) + A1 x(t h) + B0 u(t) + B1 u(t h)
for which the pairs (A0 ; B0 ) or (A0 + A1 ; B0 ) are not controllable (for instance, B0 = 0), which means one must use
the B1 u(t h) term so as to obtain an eScient control. The
papers that .t this condition remain rare:
(1) Most of those papers deal with linear systems without state delay (A1 = 0). In this case, state predictor-like
techniques (see Watanabe et al., 1996) can be computed
from either a model reduction (see Section 4.3, for A1 = 0,
the model reduction is calculable); Or, in the form of a
.nite-spectrum assignment (see the survey Watanabe et al.,
1996). In this class, we mention the recent works devoted
to the H and robust control (Dym, Georgiou, & Smith,
1995; Foias, Ozbay,
& Tannenbaum, 1996; Kojima, Uchida,
Shimemura, & Ishijima, 1994; Meinsma & Zwart, 2000;
Mirkin, 2000; Nagpal & Ravi, 1997; Tadmor, 2000; Zhou
& Khargonekar, 1987). An overview of the many works devoted to systems with input/output delays is given in Mirkin
and Tadmor (2002). The .nite-spectrum assignment can
also be applied (see item 4 of the present list and the next
section), which again can be interpreted as state predictors.


Mention .nally a paper in the nonlinear case (Bonnet et al.,

2000) (systems with saturation, inputoutput frame work).
(2) Regarding systems with state delays (A1 = 0), and
in spite of a rich literature on robust stabilization (Dugard
& Verriest, 1997; Ge, Frank, & Lin, 1996; Li & De Souza,
1996; Niculescu, 2001; Niculescu, De Souza, Dugard, &
Dion, 1998), tracking (Oucheriah, 1999), H techniques
(see Cao & Lam, 2000; Foias et al., 1996; Fridman &
Shaked, 2002; Mahmoud, 2000; Niculescu, 1998; Van
Keulen, 1993; Watanabe et al., 1996 and their references),
generalized Popov theory (Ionescu et al., 2001), passivity
(Niculescu & Lozano, 2001) or saturated control (Niculescu,
Dion, & Dugard, 1996; Tarbouriech & Gomes Da Silva,
2000), papers never quite consider delayed inputs (B1 = 0)
in the above-mentioned sense. Other papers (see for instance Choi & Chung, 1995; Lee, Moon, & Kwon, 1996;
Nguang, 1998), despite their titles, considered the delayed
control part B1 as a perturbation rather than an e2ective control input. Such results mainly use a state-space approach:
In order to generalize them to state and input/output delays, we think the transformation procedure (Kolmanovskii
& Richard, 1999) recalled in Section 4.1 may represent
an adequate way. The descriptor form (Section 4.2) may
also be useful as well, since it was used in the last section
of Fridman and Shaked (2002) for delayed outputs and
(3) The variable structure control encounters the same
limitation (see above, Section 5.3), even if some e2ort was
devoted to retarded inputs (Bonnet et al., 1999; Choi &
Hedrick, 1998; Fridman et al., 2000; Dambrine et al., 1998;
Gouaisbaut et al., 1999b).
(4) The .nite-spectrum assignment can be applied
with delayed state and inputs, provided that the spectral controllability is ful.lled and for constant delays.
The existing algebraic solutions, using BFezout factorization (GlMusing-LMuerNen, 1997a; Loiseau & BrethFe, 1998;
Loiseau, 2001), are now ready to yield implementable softwares, but implementing the corresponding control laws
can raise numerical problems, as described in the following
6.2. Digital implementation of distributed delays
In the 1970s, several papers (as the famous one by
Manitius & Olbrot, 1979) emphasized the interest of using distributed-delay controllers for discrete-delay plants
(see Watanabe et al., 1996): In .nite-spectrum assignment
(FSA), introduction of such operators in the feedback loop
allows a reduction of spectrum (20) to a .nite set (Olbrot,
1998). Contrary to the problem (initiated by Osipov in
1965, see Manitius & Olbrot, 1979) of shifting an arbitrary
but .nite number of eigenvalues, FSA does not require
the preliminary knowledge of the spectrum; moreover, the
stability of the closed loop is easy to check, since the characteristic equation (19) becomes a polynomial one. The


J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694


























Fig. 4. Robustness w.r.t. parameters.

Fig. 3. FSA of (63) via (65).

spectral controllability is known to be a necessary and suf.cient condition for the spectrum assignment, and several
algorithms provide a solution for the corresponding feedback in the general case. 23 The following simple, scalar
example (VanAssche et al., 1999) illustrates the idea:
= y(t) + u(t 1);

u(t) = 2

Y (s)
U (s) s 1

e u(t ) d 2ey(t) + v(t):


Here, from (64), the control u(t) achieves a .nite-spectrum

assignment at s = 1 (note that the Laplace transform of the
control u(t) (63) is L(u(t))=U (s)=V (s)[2e(1s)=(1
s + 2e1s )]Y (s)). A simulation result is given Fig. 3: Here,
the distributed e2ect was approximated by a discrete one:
e u(t ) d 
[u(t) + 4e1=4 u(t 14 )
+ 2e1=2 u(t 12 )
+ 4e3=4 u(t 34 ) + e1 u(t 1)]:


In practice, such controllers may generally appear as robust

ones with regard to parameter mismatches. For instance,
example (63) can admit a 20% variation of all coeScients (time constant, static gain and delay, see Fig. 4). The
robustness w.r.t. delay was studied in MondiFe, Niculescu,
and Loiseau (2001). However, the robustness with regard
to the digital implementation is certainly a more sensible
problem. The discrete realization of the distributed e2ect by
means of discrete delays remains a problem: Changing the
sampling period in simulations of Figs. 3 and 4 can destabilize the resulting behaviors. Recent works consider this
question: VanAssche et al. (1999) show that an accurate approximation of integral terms may lead to the instability of
the closed-loop when some delay occurs in the input. For instance, Fig. 5 was obtained by using a 10th-order trapezoidal
approximation, whereas Fig. 3 used only a fourth-order one,

A complete algebraic formalism was recently proposed separately by

GlMusing-LMuerNen (1997a) and Loiseau and BrethFe (1998).

Fig. 5. Robustness w.r.t. digital implementation.

given in (65). In this same context, MondiFe and Santos

(2000) provide necessary conditions for a digital implementation and Engelborghs, Dambrine, and Roose (2001) give
an interpretation in terms of Volterra integral equations.
6.3. Control via the delay value
Another open problem is to control a process in which
the input is the delay itself. For instance, the equation
= g[y(t lu(t))];
u(t) u0 0


corresponds to the crushing process depicted in Fig. 6: Here,

the recycled matter Vow is supposed to be a linear or nonlinear ratio g(y) of the quantity of raw material y inside the
crushing-mill, the output is the Vow of processed material
h(y) (also depending on the .lling level) and the rolling
band with a variable speed u has a total path length l. Apparently, the control of this kind of equation remains an open
problem. Apart from the few attempts we will mention here,
no theoretical grounding was stated, probably because no
tool comparable to the Bellman functional (see Section 5.2)
was proposed. Besides, the research of a stabilizing feedback law u = h; x requires the construction of a Liapunov

J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

Fig. 6. Conveyor belts, speed u(t).


In Orlov (1988) however, the LTI case of (66) received

some attention. It was underlined that, for a .xed function
y(t), the right-hand side of this equation a nonconvex set with respect to the allowed controls u(t). An attempt
at solving the problem was then proposed, not on the initial system, say y(t)
= y(t u(t)), but on a system with a
distributed delay: y(t)
= h [d u(t; )] y(t + ), for which
the existence of an optimal solution (i.e., the fundamental
function u(t; )) was shown.
A recent result (Verriest, 2002) might constitute a starting
point for the stabilization problem. Nonlinear equations with
a state dependent delay were considered:
= A0 x(t) + A1 x(t h(x(t))
for which the function h(x): R [0; hM ] is assumed to
possess a gradient h with a bounded norm and, in addition,
supx h(x)A0 x = 4 1. The derived asymptotic stability
condition is the existence of positive de.nite matrices P; Q
and R such that:
AT0 P + PA0 + AT1 QA1 + PQ1 P(1 4)1 + R = 0:
Other trends can be found in Petit, 2000.

Fig. 7. Mixing tank with total recycle.

Krasovskii functional for a system with a state dependent

delay. Such functionals as (31), in this case, have a function h1 of x in the lower bound of the integral terms: Their
di2erentiation reinjects the dynamics, which turns out to be
very inconvenient for the calculus. Another example of such
a control via the delay is given by a mixing tank with an
impeller and a total recycle (Fig. 7) in which a given quantity of salt is injected at the initial time. The salt concentration is measured by means of a conductivity probe which is
placed at a di2erent point. This corresponds to the following
T (u(t))y(t)
= y(t h(u(t)) y(t);
where y(t) = z(t h) is the conductivity measured at the
probe position, z(t) is the conductivity at the injection point,
u(t) is the Vow rate, proportional to the rotation speed of
the impeller, h is the time which the liquid, in total recycle,
takes to Vow from the injector to the probe (then, h is inversely proportional to u, and after rescaling: h(u) = 1=u),
T is the mixing time constant, inversely proportional to the
Vow rate: T (u) = 1=ku. In Dieulot and Richard (2001), the
open-loop tracking of some desired conductivity law yd (t)
(of a piece-wise polynomial type) was solved: Admissibility constraints on yd (t) were expressed, for which the
problem: given yd (t), .nd u(t), can be solved. Its validity with regard to speed limitations (then, 0 6 u 6 uM
and h(u) 1=uM ) was shown on simulations. However,
here again, the closed-loop control still constitutes an open

6.4. Collecting and handling information relative to the

Here, it will be argued about two points: (1) advanced
identi.cation methods for estimating the delay behavior are
still expected in real-time; (2) control algorithms taking advantage of the delay knowledge have to be developed. First,
let us make some comments about the bene.ts one can .nd
using additional information on delay values: Obviously,
one can expect that the better the knowledge on the delay
is, the higher the achievable control performances will be.
For instance, in the case of a constant delay h, the simplest
and best information is its value. If it is not available, then
guaranteeing the robustness for h [hm ; hM ] will be convenient. From this point of view, the poorest information
correspond to the most robust case: h 0. Numerous authors, after proposing i.o.d. stabilization results (assumption
h 0), concentrated on delay-dependent ones. 24
6.4.1. Adaptive identi;cation of delays
This part maintains that, even if several works considered
the identi.cation of either the delay or the parameters, the
simultaneous identi.cation remains to be done. Moreover,
the real-time adaptive identi.cation techniques of (varying)
delays still need to improve.
Works on identi.cation of FDEs have shown the complexity of the question (Verduyn-Lunel, 1997). Identifying
the delay is not an easy task for systems with both input and
state delays, or when the delay is varying enough to require
an adaptive In what concerns delay identi.cation,

Mainly, with hm = 0, but also with hm 0 (Huang & Zhou, 2000).


J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

several authors use the relay-based approach initiated by Astrom and Hagglund (Majhi & Atherton, 1999; Tan, Wang,
& Lee, 1998), which, however, is not a real-time procedure
since it needs to close some switching feedback loop during
a preliminary identi.cation phase. The adaptive control of
delay systems is not so much developed either (Blanchini &
Ryan, 1999; Foda & Mahmoud, 1998; Verriest, 1999) and
the delay is generally assumed to be known. Note that in
the case of multiple (but constant) delays, theoretical identi.ability conditions for LTI models are given in Belkoura,
Richard, and Orlov (2000) and Orlov, Belkoura, Dambrine,
and Richard (2002) (reducing to weak controllabilitysee
De.nition 8in the case of commensurate delays). Let us
illustrate the diSculty on a simple, .rst-order delay system,
assumed to be asymptotically stable:

And yet, as noted in Diop, Kolmanovsky, Moraal, and

vanNieuwstadt (2001), the on-line delay estimation has a
longstanding issue in signal processing. In these applications, the present signal u = u(t) and its delayed value, denoted by v(t) = u(t h) are supposed to be known, which
allows one to implement a standard steepest descent algorithm (69) or a modi.ed, averaged version (70) making use
of the autocorrelation function R() of u:
hk1 );
hk = hk1 ?[v(t) u(t hk1 )]u(t


and for which we the following identi.cation law:

hZk = hZk1 ? R(hZk1 ):
But, such algorithms have a limited speed of convergence,
which make them inadequate for control issues. The above
paper (Diop et al., 2001), generalizing (Tuch, Feuer, &
Palmor, 1994), introduces the following scheme:


h =
[u(t h) u(t h)];

1 + p(t)u 2 (t h)

d x
(t) = a(t)
+ b(t)
h) + u(t);


= ax(t) + bx(t h);
x() = ()


for  [ h; 0];

= ()

d a
(t) = u(t)x(t);

= a0 ;

d b
(t) = u(t)x(t h);


= b0 ;


u(t) = M (t) sign[x(t) x(t)];

M (t) M0 + a |x(t)| + b |x(t h)|

+ |a(t)|


+ |b(t)|

M0 0:

Since the asymptotic stability of (67) insures the boundedness of the gain M (t), it is shown in Belkoura et al. (1998)

that the parameter mismatches ]a = a a,

]b = b b,
tend to zero for arbitrary initial conditions a0 ; b0 ; ().

if the delay is also to be identi.ed, it seems quite diScult to
generalize Eqs. (68a) and (68b) to di2erential equations in

a variable h(t).
This diSculty is linked to the previous problem of control through the delay value. A possible way
to bypass it, provided the piece of information h [hm ; hM ]
is given, consists (Orlov, Belkoura, Richard, & Dambrine,
2003) in considering a model with multiple delays (with
hi = (hM hm )=(m 1)):

= a(t)
hi ) + u(t);
bi (t)x(t

in which the bi (t) coeScients tend to zero except for hj  h.

The accuracy of this identi.cation depends on the number m
of implemented delays. However, the computational e2ort
strongly increases with m, which might restrain the real-time
identi.cation possibilities.

p2 (t)u 2 (t h)

1 + p(t)u 2 (t h)

p(0) = p0 0:


It was involved, with simulation, in the speed control system

of a direct injected diesel engine, thus adjusting the gains of
a simple PI controller. Nevertheless, just recall that: (i) both
the present signal u = u(t) and its delayed value u(t h) are
supposed to be known and their derivative to be bounded as
follows: 0  6 |u(t)|

6 ; (ii) the delay is assumed to be

constant; (iii) all parameters (but the delay) are supposed to
be known; (iv) the investigation of the closed-loop stability
is left for future research: In Diop et al. (2001), u(t h) it
is obtained via an unknown input observer, which creates a
nontrivial controller/observer separation problem.
Another adaptive delay identi.cation scheme can be
found in the book (Kolmanovskii and Myshkis, 1999): If h0
is some approximation of the actual (time-varying) delay
value h(t) = h0 + ]h(t), then the algorithm requires the
measurement of delayed variables: x(t h0 ) and x(t
h0 ),
together with the assumption |]h| h0 . The results are
local (i.e., valid for |]h| small enough) and, here also, the
real-time possibilities are to be checked.
6.4.2. Using stochastic properties of the delay
A good illustration of the introductory arguments (take
advantage of the delay knowledge) was given in Nilsson
et al. (1998): The question was to design control loops closed
over a communication network, and then subject to varying communication delays (jitter phenomenon). A previous
solution (Luck & Ray, 1990) consisted in eliminating the
delay randomness by introducing time bu2ers, large enough
to deliver a constant delay (see also LelevFe et al., 2001).
However, such a solution introduces some extra time delay
in the loop. Nilsson, taking advantage of the delay measurement by adding timestamps in the issued control signals,
obtained a 40% bene.t on a quadratic cost function (under

J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

the assumption that the delays were small enough, regarding

the sampling period).
More generally, the stability and stabilization of di2erential equations with a stochastic delay were investigated by
several authors (see, e.g., Boukas & Liu, 2002; Katz, 1998;
Kolmanovskii & Nosov, 1986; Kolmanovskii & Shaikhet,
1996; Krtolica et al., 1991; Nilsson et al., 1998; Ray, 1994).
But in these papers, the stability conditions are derived under the assumption that, for each .xed delay value, the corresponding deterministic system is exponentially stable, uniformly with respect to all possible delay values. In other
words, the stability conditions assume the delay to be known
at each moment. In Yamanaka, Ushida, and Shimemura
(1979) as well, the delayed variables come from a partial
di2erential equation of the transport type (1) with a parameter c = h1 depending on a known random coeScient (t)
(a Markov process).
Two papers recently dealt with unknown stochastic delays: Verriest (2002) considered the following coupled differential di2erence equations (with additive white noise w):
d x(t) = [A0 (t)x(t) + A1 y(t h(t)] dt
+ [B0 (t)x(t) + B1 y(t h(t)] dw(t);
y(t) = K(t)x(t) + L(t)y(t h(t)):
The stochastic stability is proven if a coupled system of
Riccati and Liapunov inequations holds and, in addition, the
is less than one on average (the
time-variation of the delay, h,
condition of which being better than the usual: h 1 for all
t). The corresponding result is independent of the delay,
which means here that the mean value of h(t) (bounded) is
not taken into account. For instance, applying the result to
the simple system (27) with a stochastic delay h(t) (thus,
K(t) I; B0 = I; L = B1 = 0) leads to the Riccati equation
In the second paper, (Kolmanovskii, Maizenberg, &
Richard, 2003), the form of the in.nitesimal operator and
the stochastic stability conditions have been derived without the knowledge of the delay and expressed immediately
in terms of its probability characteristics. The di2erence
equations such as
x(n + 1) = f(n; x(n); : : : ; x(n :(n + 1));

n 0;


were considered, in which the function f depends on the

arguments (n; x(n); x(n 1); : : : ; x(n :(n + 1)); : = :(n)
being a Markov stochastic process with the possible values
of delays : = 1; 2; : : : ; r. Here, the conditions take into account the probability transition matrix of the process :(n):
This corresponds to delay-dependent conditions.
6.4.3. Delay information for observers
Several authors proposed observers (or predictors) for
delay systems in the LTI case (for the state space approach,
see references in Darouach (2001) and Choi and Chung


(1996), for the coprime factorization technique see Yao,

Zhang, and Kovacevic (1997); For the discrete time, see
Wang, Huang, and Unbehausen (1999b)), as well as the
linear stochastic (Kolmanovskii & Myshkis, 1999) and nonlinear (Germani, Manes, & Pepe, 1998) cases. An overview
is given in Sename (2001).
In most cases, the value of the delay (mainly constant)
was involved in the realizations, which means that its measurement was assumed. Note that what is de.ned as observers without internal delay (see Darouach, Pierrot, &
Richard, 1999; Darouach, 2001; Fairmar & Kumar, 1986)
involves the output knowledge at the present and delayed
instants. This means that the delay is known or, at least, is
calculable. Similarly, Leyva-Ramos and Pearson (1995) designed a .nite-dimensional observer (then, without delay)
since it was constructed just for the .nite set of unstable or
poorly damped modes of the delay system: However, the
determination of these modes, here again, requires the delay
In concrete applications, the delay invariance and delay knowledge remain assumptions coming more from the
identi.cation and analysis limits than from technical facts.
So, the robustness with regard to the delay estimation (and
variation) should receive additional interest.
There are presently only few results in which the observer
does not assume the delay knowledge. As far as we know,
all of them are using delay-free observers:
In DeSouza, Palhares, and Peres (1999), a .nitedimensional observer is obtained for linear systems with
delays: The problem was solved in the context of H
.ltering, and the .ltering error was shown to be quadratically stable independently of the delays. This technique
has the advantage of allowing time-varying and multiple
In Choi and Chung (1996,1997), an H controller is
de.ned from a delay-free observer. The .rst paper considers systems with known parameters, while the latter
includes uncertainties. The delay is supposed to be constant. The solution needs to solve a pair of coupled Riccati
like equations. The computational diSculty is increased
by the coupling of these equations, but examples have
shown that a solution can be possible.
The results in Wang, Huang, and Unbehausen (1999a)
are concerned with H delay-free observers, for stable
systems with a state delay. As in the previous references,
they lead to a set of two Riccati equations. However,
they go on the additional assumption that the considered
system is stable, and the control part is not studied.
These three interesting approaches consider linear systems
and guarantee an H performance for the .ltering error. All
of them, however, still present the same limits:
(1) The system has some state delay(s) but is free of input/output delay. This corresponds to the limit we presented
in the preceding Section 6.1.


J.-P. Richard / Automatica 39 (2003) 1667 1694

(2) They are also based on i.o.d. stability techniques (independent on the delay): As we mentioned in Section 2.2.2,
it would be interesting to reduce the probable conservatism
of such results by taking into account the information on a
delay upper-bound.
7. Conclusion
Faced with the wide number of results connected with
delay systems, we hope that this overview has provided some
enlightenment to the matter. To conclude, let us stress some
of the main lines:
Delay systems constitute a good compromise between the
too simple models with .nite dimension and the great
complexity of PDEs. The behavior features and the structural characteristics of delay systems are particular enough
to justify speci.c techniques.
In what concerns robust stability, the main Liapunov-based
tools have to be used in combination with model transformations, the development of which is still in progress.
In the branch of robust control, results can be roughly
split into two classes: The .rst one consists in systems
with input or output delays (mainly, H performance or
predictor-like techniques), the other in state delays. The
intersection of the two classes is still to be addressed.
Many complex systems with aftere2ect are still inviting further investigation: This is the case, for instance,
of delay systems with strong nonlinearities, as well as
time-varying or state-dependent delays.
In 1993, several teams in France initiated a cooperation network on delay systems, supported by French CNRS
(GdR Automatique) since 1999. For their fruitful discussions, the author would like to acknowledge all colleagues related to this group, as well as those involved in
the current 20022004 NSF-CNRS program (managed by
S.I. Niculescu, Fr. and K. Gu, USA). The author is also
grateful to the referees for helping to complete the scope of
this survey. Special and warm thanks are addressed to Prof.
Stephen P. Banks, from the University of SheSeld, for his
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Jean-Pierre Richard is Professor at the

Ecole Centrale de Lille, France (French
Grande Ecole). His major research .elds
are delay systems, stabilization and control
of continuous systems (linear/nonlinear),
with applications to Transportations and
Sciences & Technologies of Information and Communication. He is heading
the team Nonlinear and Delay Systems
( of the LAIL (Lab. of
Aut. control & Computer Sc. for Industry,
CNRS UMR 8021).
Born in 1956, he obtained his D.Sc. in Physical Sciences in 1984, Ph.D.
in Automatic Control in 1981, Dipl. Eng. and DBA in Electronics in
1979. He is a Member of the IEEE (Senior), of the Russian Academy
of Nonlinear Sciences, of the IFAC TC2.2 Linear Systems and of the
editorial board of the International Journal of Systems Science.
He is President of the GRAISyHM (Research Group in Integrated Automation and Man-Machine Systems, 220 researchers from 10 labs of
Region NordPas de Calais, France) and Director of the doctoral researches training in automatic control, University of Lille and Ecole Centrale de Lille. He is in charge of several programs and research networks
(CNRS and French Ministry of Research) and belongs to the Advisory
Committee of the IEEE biennial conference CIFA, ConfFerence Internationale Francophone dAutomatique (