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MA50061: Optimal control

[Page last updated: 03 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Mathematical Sciences
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 25%, EX 75%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 25%)
  • Examination (EX 75%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: In taking this module you cannot take MA30061
Learning Outcomes:
* Recognise practical problems where optimal control methods can be used effectively.
* Apply appropriate optimal control methods.
* Justify calculations by appealing to relevant theorems.
* Write the relevant mathematical arguments in a precise and lucid fashion.

Aims: To introduce methods of optimal control, to explain their theoretical basis and give an appreciation of the variety of areas in which they are applicable.

Skills: Numeracy T/F A Problem Solving T/F A Written and Spoken Communication F

Content: Formulation of the general optimal control problem. Sufficient conditions for the existence of an optimal control. The Pontryagin maximum principle: necessary conditions satisfied by an optimal control and sufficiency under additional convexity assumptions. Dynamical programming and the Bellman-Hamilton-Jacobi equation. The quadratic-cost control problem for linear systems. Illustration of the theory by examples. Applications to biology, economics, engineering and physics.

Programme availability:

MA50061 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Mathematical Sciences


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