Feedback Control for Programmers and Other Strangers

Philipp Janert (Principal Value, LLC)
Data Science Ballroom AB
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Most stable systems rely on feedback – from central heating and cruise control in cars to industrial plants and biological mechanisms. In this introduction, I will argue that feedback can also be suitable for typical problems in enterprise software development: whenever designing software to control a process or deliver according to a plan, feedback control should be considered as an option. Examples include the control of supply chains and the fulfillment of orders, resource management of buffers and queues, access to shared resources (data centers!), and more.

This introductory talk will explain what feedback is and how to apply it in typical enterprise architecture situations. I will describe how systems involving feedback are different and what challenges to watch out for. Specifically, improperly designed feedback loops are susceptible to undesirable oscillations or instabilities, and I will discuss techniques to recognize and prevent them.

No previous knowledge of feedback or control theory is required.

Photo of Philipp Janert

Philipp Janert

Principal Value, LLC

After previous careers in physics and software development, Philipp K. Janert currently provides consulting services for data analysis, algorithm development, and mathematical modeling.

He is the author of two books on data analysis: “Data Analysis with Open Source Tools” (O’Reilly) and “Gnuplot in Action – Understanding Data with Graphs” (Manning Publications).

He holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Washington. Visit his company website at www.principal-value.com

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