The goal of control engineering is to apply external influence to a dynamical system so that it behaves in a desired way. Here, the behavior is under constant monitoring through a comparison between the desired and the actual measured values of the system. When these deviate, the goal is to manipulate the system in a way to minimize future deviations. In view of this feedback one speaks of closed-loop control or feedback control. If there is no feedback, i.e., if the manipulation happens without knowledge on the actual state of the system, then one does not speak of a closed-loop controller but instead of an open-loop or non-feedback control.
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