A Classification of Nodes for Structural Controllability

Christian Commault, Jacob van der Woude

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
85 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper we consider (large and complex) interconnected networks. We assume that each state/node, not belonging to a set of forbidden nodes of the network, can be selected to act as a steering node, meaning that such a node then is influenced by its own individual control. We aim to achieve structural controllability and we present a classification of the associated steering nodes as being essential (always required to be present), useful (present in certain configurations) and useless (never necessary in whatever configuration). The classification is based on two types of decomposition that naturally show up in the context of the two conditions (connection condition and rank condition) for structural controllability. The underlying methods are related to well-known and efficient network algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8573885
Pages (from-to)3877-3882
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automatic Control
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Accepted author manuscript


  • Controllability
  • Input connection condition
  • Rank condition
  • Steering node
  • Structured system theory


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