Theory Versus Practice

  • Stanko Strmčnik
  • Ðani Juričić
  • Janko Petrovčič
  • Vladimir Jovan
Part of the Advances in Industrial Control book series (AIC)


The aim of the chapter is to present a view of the relationship between control theory and practice resulting from more than three decades of the authors’ work in applied research and industrial applications.

First, a brief historical overview of the theory-practice relationship and reasons for the gap is provided. Then the complexity of control engineering practice, which is believed to be one of the principal reasons for the gap, is discussed. The central part of the chapter discusses the role theory plays in fulfilling the functional and non-functional requirements that represent an essential frame for the design and implementation of every real system. Attention is drawn to the fact that, although important, control theory does not suffice in mapping control system requirements to operable solutions, but needs to be complemented with knowledge across other disciplines. A perception is suggested in which control engineering is viewed, practiced and taught in the (wider) context of systems engineering.

The chapter is intended for readers who feel less experienced with practical applications of control systems and would like to gain better insight into the complexity of the field. Those more experienced and sufficiently intrigued by the gap might benefit from a different, hopefully novel characterisation of the gap phenomenon.


Control Theory Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Introductory Chapter Mars Exploration Rover Control Engineering Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Slovenian Research Agency through grant P2-0001. The authors would also like to thank Prof. Dr. Rihard Karba and Dr. Rudolf Kulhavý for their valuable comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanko Strmčnik
    • 1
  • Ðani Juričić
    • 1
  • Janko Petrovčič
    • 1
  • Vladimir Jovan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Systems and ControlJožef Stefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia

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