Geometric control theory is concerned with the evolution of systems subject to physical laws but having some degree of freedom through which motion is to be controlled. This book describes the mathematical theory inspired by the irreversible nature of time evolving events. The first part of the book deals with the issue of being able to steer the system from any point of departure to any desired destination. The second part deals with optimal control, the question of finding the best possible course. An overlap with mathematical physics is demonstrated by the Maximum principle, a fundamental principle of optimality arising from geometric control, which is applied to time-evolving systems governed by physics as well as to man-made systems governed by controls. Applications are drawn from geometry, mechanics, and control of dynamical systems. The geometric language in which the results are expressed allows clear visual interpretations and makes the book accessible to physicists and engineers as well as to mathematicians.
Review of the hardback: '… should find a place on the reading lists for all graduate courses which contain this aspect of control theory.' D. J. Bell, UMIST