ep12 - John Doyle, Part I: A Pioneer's Guide to Robust Control - The Past, Present, and Future

May 15, 2023 Alberto Padoan Season 1 Episode 12
ep12 - John Doyle, Part I: A Pioneer's Guide to Robust Control - The Past, Present, and Future
Show Notes

In this episode, we sit down with John Doyle, a living legend in the field of robust control, to delve into his incredible journey in control theory. We explore his past at MIT and Honeywell, his time at Berkeley, and his journey through the golden age of robustness. From his groundbreaking work on margins of systems, \mu synthesis, and the H_\infty problem, to his insights on System Level Synthesis (SLS) and modern control architectures, John shares his thoughts on the past, present, and future of robust control. Along the way, we listen to John's fascinating stories, including his astonishing sport records and his thrilling Panamanian adventure.

00:00 - Intro
03:58 - Selected record-breaking athletics feats
09:47 - The Panamanian adventure
13:41 - Early steps in control: the MIT & Honeywell years
32:24 - The move to Berkeley and the golden age of robustness
46:06 -  To H_\infty and beyond
50:47 - DGKF: The solution of the H_\infty problem
1:02:40 - A glimpse of System Level Syntheis  (SLS)
1:07:27 - The challenge of our age: a theory of architecture design
1:12:34 - How to fix the theory-practice gap
1:15:05 - Outro

John’s website:
Sport records:
The Panamanian adventure:
John’s master thesis:
Paper - Guaranteed margins for LQG:
Paper - Multivariable feedback design: ...
John’s PhD Thesis:
Paper -  Feedback and optimal sensitivity: ... :
Paper - Performance and robustness analysis for structured uncertainty:
Paper - State-space solutions to standard H2 and H∞ control problems:
Witsenhausen’s counterexample:

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Podcast info
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Acknowledgments and sponsors
This episode was supported by the National Centre of Competence in Research on «Dependable, ubiquitous automation» and the IFAC Activity fund. The podcast benefits from the help of an incredibly talented and passionate team. Special thanks to L. Seward, E. Cahard, F. Banis, F. Dörfler, J. Lygeros, ETH studio and mirrorlake . Music was composed by A New Element.