yields True if the state-space model sys is controllable, and False otherwise.


yields True if the subsystem sub is controllable.

Details and Options

  • ControllableModelQ is also known as a reachable model.
  • A state-space model is said to be controllable if for any initial state and any final state there exists some control input that drives the state from to in finite time.
  • The system sys can be a standard or descriptor StateSpaceModel or AffineStateSpaceModel.
  • The following subsystems sub can be specified: »
  • Allwhole system
    "Fast"fast subsystem
    "Slow"slow subsystem
    {λ1,}subsystem with eigenmodes
  • The "Fast" and "Slow" subsystems primarily apply to descriptor state-space models as described in KroneckerModelDecomposition.
  • The eigenmodes λi are described in JordanModelDecomposition.
  • ControllableModelQ accepts a Method option with the following settings:
  • Automaticautomatically choose the appropriate test
    "Distribution"use controllability distribution's rank
    "Gramian"use controllability Gramian's rank or positive definiteness
    "Matrix"use controllability matrix's rank
    "PBH"use PopovBelevitchHautus rank test


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Basic Examples  (2)

A controllable system:

An uncontrollable system, since there is no way to affect the second state:

Scope  (6)

Test the controllability of a system with approximate coefficients:

Exact coefficients:

Symbolic coefficients:

Multiple-input system:

Discrete-time system:

A descriptor system:

Controllability is equivalent to controllability of both slow and fast modes (C-controllability):

Test controllability of individual eigenmodes:

The system is uncontrollable because of eigenmode :

This can be seen in the Jordan form, where there is no way to affect the third state:

Test controllability of an AffineStateSpaceModel:

If an operating point is given, controllability from is tested:

The system is controllable from a generic point:

Options  (7)

Method  (7)

By default, the controllability matrix is used for exact and symbolic systems:

The system is controllable if the ControllabilityMatrix has full rank:

The controllability Gramian is used for stable numeric systems:

The system is controllable if the ControllabilityGramian has full rank:

For the controllability Gramian, this is equivalent to it being positive definite:

The PBH rank test is used for all other numeric systems:

The system is controllable because has full rank for all :

The controllability distribution is used for input-linear systems:

For linear systems, the tests based on the controllability matrix and distribution are equivalent:

Controllability of the linearized system implies controllability of the input-linear system:

The matrix test for input linear system uses the "Matrix" method for the linearized system:

Using no control input, the system follows the drift vector field :

A system is weakly controllable if the drift vector field can also be used to move state:

Without including the drift vector field, the system is not controllable:

Applications  (5)

The position and velocities of all three masses can be controlled by the force on :

An electric circuit with the capacitor voltage and inductor current as states:

In general, the system is controllable:

However if , it is not controllable:

A unicycle with drive and steering as input:

The system is controllable, but the linearized system is not:

The parking problem:

The system is controllable, but the linearized system is not:

A rotating rigid satellite modeled using Euler's equations of motion:

Its controllability for various values of the principal moments and actuator combinations:

A grid to show the results:

If , the system is controllable with any two actuators:

If , the system is not controllable with actuators 1 and 2 or any one actuator:

If , the system is controllable only with all 3 actuators:

Properties & Relations  (7)

A diagonal system is controllable, assuming and :

With , there is no way to control the first state:

With , the first state cannot be controlled directly, but indirectly from the second state:

With , the second state cannot be controlled directly or indirectly from the first state:

Use JordanModelDecomposition to compute the canonical state-space representation above:

Compute the controllability of each mode using the "PBH" test:

For descriptor systems, KroneckerModelDecomposition is the generalization of the diagonal form:

Determine the controllability of the slow subsystem from its structure:

Compute it using the original system:

Determine the controllability of the fast subsystem:

Compute it using the original system:

If the descriptor matrix of a StateSpaceModel has full rank, there is no fast subsystem:

Hence the complete controllability of the system can be evaluated from the slow subsystem:

Controllability is invariant under a nonsingular StateSpaceTransform:

Controllability is invariant under state feedback:

Compute the state feedback using StateFeedbackGains:

The closed-loop system is also controllable:

Controllability does not mean it is output controllable (OutputControllableModelQ):

Output controllability does not imply controllability:

Possible Issues  (2)

The Gramian method is not reliable for systems that are not asymptotically stable:

The eigenvalue in the right half of the complex plane leads to instability for continuous-time systems:

For affine systems with nonzero drift, the distribution tests only for accessibility:

A random initial condition and random input signal generator:

Simulate the system 10 times with random inputs:

The system cannot be moved to the left of the initial point:

Wolfram Research (2010), ControllableModelQ, Wolfram Language function, (updated 2014).


Wolfram Research (2010), ControllableModelQ, Wolfram Language function, (updated 2014).


@misc{reference.wolfram_2020_controllablemodelq, author="Wolfram Research", title="{ControllableModelQ}", year="2014", howpublished="\url{}", note=[Accessed: 26-February-2021 ]}


@online{reference.wolfram_2020_controllablemodelq, organization={Wolfram Research}, title={ControllableModelQ}, year={2014}, url={}, note=[Accessed: 26-February-2021 ]}


Wolfram Language. 2010. "ControllableModelQ." Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Wolfram Research. Last Modified 2014.


Wolfram Language. (2010). ControllableModelQ. Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Retrieved from