Close menu


Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

A hands-on approach to teaching system identification using first order plus dead time (FOPDT) modelling of step response data

Burn, Kevin and Cox, Chris (2018) A hands-on approach to teaching system identification using first order plus dead time (FOPDT) modelling of step response data. International Journal of Electrical Engineering and Education. ISSN 0020-7209

Item Type: Article


This paper describes three step response-based system identification methods of increasing complexity, together with a range of exercises that will enhance student understanding of this area in an engaging and practical way. For illustration purposes and practicality, it is assumed that the model to be identified is of the first order plus dead time (FOPDT) type. The first method uses a popular graphical technique, which is easy to understand and apply, but inaccurate when the response data is not ideal. The second uses the Nelder-Mead simplex method, which is a more powerful technique and has the added benefit of introducing undergraduate students to the concepts of numerical optimisation. The third uses an integral equation (IE) algorithm. The latter two methods, which can be readily extended to other model structures and input types, are also demonstrated using experimental data obtained from a tank level control system.

IJEEE KBurn CSCox Final.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (644kB) | Preview

More Information

Uncontrolled Keywords: Control systems education, system identification, first order plus dead time (FOPDT), parameter estimation; step response
Depositing User: Kevin Burn


Item ID: 10128
Identification Number:
ISSN: 0020-7209
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Kevin Burn: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2018 16:11
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 16:07


Author: Kevin Burn ORCID iD
Author: Chris Cox

University Divisions

Faculty of Technology
Faculty of Technology > School of Engineering


Engineering > Electrical Engineering
Engineering > Mathematics (Engineering)

Actions (login required)

View Item (Repository Staff Only) View Item (Repository Staff Only)