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Entropy 2012, 14(4), 834-847; doi:10.3390/e14040834
Article

Open Problems on Information and Feedback Controlled Systems

*  and *
Departamento de Física Atómica, Molecular y Nuclear, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avenida Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 January 2012 / Revised: 28 March 2012 / Accepted: 12 April 2012 / Published: 19 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Applied Thermodynamics)
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Abstract

Feedback or closed-loop control allows dynamical systems to increase their performance up to a limit imposed by the second law of thermodynamics. It is expected that within this limit, the system performance increases as the controller uses more information about the system. However, despite the relevant progresses made recently, a general and complete formal development to justify this statement using information theory is still lacking. We present here the state-of-the-art and the main open problems that include aspects of the redundancy of correlated operations of feedback control and the continuous operation of feedback control. Complete answers to these questions are required to firmly establish the thermodynamics of feedback controlled systems. Other relevant open questions concern the implications of the theoretical results for the limitations in the performance of feedback controlled flashing ratchets, and for the operation and performance of nanotechnology devices and biological systems.
Keywords: closed-loop control; information; thermodynamics closed-loop control; information; thermodynamics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Cao, F.J.; Feito, M. Open Problems on Information and Feedback Controlled Systems. Entropy 2012, 14, 834-847.

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