What's the difference between control "over" network and control "of" network?

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Control "over" the network means the feedback control loop is closed via the network. It studies the closed loop system performance subject to the available network resources. This is now so called "Networked Control Systems". Classical control theory (the material you will learn throughout the class) assumes perfect information flow from the sensor to the controller and from the controller to the actuator, ie, there is no delay and full information is transmitted and received and so on. However, this is not true in the Networked Control Systems. Due to the network uncertainty, data packets can be delayed, dropped or reordered which make closed loop control very different from the classical feedback control.

Control "of" the network on the other hand studies the network itself, for example, how to make the flow of packets smooth, how to maximize the network throughput, how to minimize the jitter in the network, how to minimize the packet drops and so on.


--Ling Shi 4:18pm, 2 Oct 2006 (PDT)