Linear fractional order controllers: A survey in the frequency domain

Ali Ahmadi Dastjerdi, Blas M. Vinagre, Yang Quan Chen, Hassan Hossein Nia Kani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Today, there is a great tendency toward using fractional calculus to solve engineering problems. The control is one of the fields in which fractional calculus has attracted a lot of attention. On the one hand, fractional order dynamic models simulate characteristics of real dynamic systems better than integer order models. On the other hand, Fractional Order (FO) controllers outperform Integer Order (IO) controllers in many cases. FO-controllers have been studied in both time an frequency domain. The latter one is the fundamental tool for industry to design FO-controllers. The scope of this paper is to review research which has been carried out on FO-controllers in the frequency domain. In this review paper, the concept of fractional calculus and their applications in the control problems are introduced. In addition, basic definitions of the fractional order differentiation and integration are presented. Then, four common types of FO-controllers are briefly presented and after that their representative tuning methods are introduced. Furthermore, some useful continuous and discrete approximation methods of FO-controllers and their digital and analogue implementation methods are elaborated. Then, some Matlab toolboxes which facilitate utilizing FO calculus in the control field are presented. Finally, advantages and disadvantages of using FO calculus in the control area are discussed. To wrap up, this paper helps beginners to get started rapidly and learn how to select, tune, approximate, discretize, and implement FO-controllers in the frequency domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-70
JournalAnnual Reviews in Control
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • CRONE generations
  • Fractional calculus
  • Fractional order lead/lag compensators
  • Fractional order PID
  • Frequency domain analysis
  • Toolboxes for fractional order controllers
  • Tuning methods for fractional order controllers


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