by Adam Lake

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Chapter 3.5. Applying Control Theory to Game AI and Physics

Brian Pickrell

Control theory is the engineering study of dynamic systems, such as airplanes and other machines. The name is a bit misleading, since designing controls (in other words, airplane autopilots or missile guidance systems) is only one application of the theory. Control theory is actually the analysis of equations to extract some fundamental information about how entire classes of systems act in all possible circumstances.

Control theory is something of a sister science to simulation. A simulation looks at a specific situation and predicts what the system will do in great detail, but it doesn’t explain how the system behaves in general. Control theory, on ...

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