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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATION, VOL. 31, NO.

The Two-Pole Two-Zero Root Locus

Charles P. Neuman, Senior Member, IEEE

Abstract-We highlight the unity negative feedback root locus In fact, substitution of (2) into (3) leads to a discrete-
of a loop gain having two real poles lying along the real axis to the time transfer function with the two collocated real zeros
right of two real zeros. We demonstrate that the complex portion z1 = z2 = - 1 and, for realistic sampling selection
of the root locus (of the closed-loop negative feedback system) is a
circle. We locate the center and compute the radius of the circle, > the two
and illuminate the stability of the closed-loop system.

I. INTRODUCTION for i = 1 and 2.

celebrated geometry of classical control engineering is
A the negative feedback root locus of a loop gain with two
real poles p l and pa lying along the real axis to the right of a
11. ANALYSIS
real zero zo. The complex portion of the root locus (graphically Upon replacing z +- 2+ j in~the closed-loop characteristic
portraying the loci of the closed-loop poles) is a circle, equation
centered at the zero, with the radius J(p1 - zo)(pz - 2 0 )
which is the geometric mean of the distances from the two 1 + K L ( z )= 0
poles to the zero [ll, [ 2 ] .
In this note we illuminate the root locus of the loop gain and applying the angle we find that along the
complex portion of the root locus

with the two real poles pl and p 2 lying along the real axis to
the right of the two real zeros z1 and 22 (pz > PI > 21 > 2 2 ) .
We demonstrate that the complex portion of the root locus
(of the closed-loop negative feedback system for K > 0) is
a circle. We locate the center and compute the radius of the and hence
circle, and analyze the stability of the closed-loop system.
The pole-zero configuration in (1) arises, for example, upon
applying the Tustin replacement rule [3, pp. 137-1411
(4)
s +a-2Z -+ 1l (2)
To facilitate the ensuing development, let A1 = pl - 21 > 0
where the frequency warping factor and A2 = p2 - z2 > 0. Completing the square in (4) and
straightforward (albeit tedious) algebra leads to a circular root
2
without frequency prewarping locus centered along the real-axis at
a={T
tan(nfT/Z) with frequency prewarping PlP2 - Z l Z Z
20 =
T is the sampling period and Clc is the critical frequency to
Ai Az+
discretize the second-order analog process model' which may be rewritten

1
G(s) =
(71s -k 1)(72S + 1)' The radius of the circular root locus (determined by the
pole-zero separations) is
Manuscript received June 25, 1992; revised November 20, 1992.
The author is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Camegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890 USA.
IEEE Log Number 9405575.
'The transfer function G ( s )models the cascade of two first-order lags (e.g.,
a two tank system with a control valve).
R= { k;22 -JJm
;I+";,
(6)

0018-9359/94\$04.00 0 1994 IEEE

370 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATION, VOL. 37, NO. 4, NOVEMBER 1994

111. INTERPRETATIONS the transfer function G(s) and an analog-to-digital converter

The center location in (5) and radius in (6) specify com- (ADC), is [4]
pletely the circular root locus of the two real pole - two real
zero loop gain in (1). We observe the characteristics of the (7)
circle in three exemplary cases.
I ) Two Pole-One Zero Configuration (pz > pl > z ~ ) : where
When z2 -+ -00, the center 20 -+ z1 and the radius
R -+ J(p1 - zl)(pz - 21) as noted at the outset for this cele-
brated pole-zero configuration of classical control engineering.
2) Symmetric Configuration: When p = pl = pz and
+
z = z1 = zp, the center 20 = ( p z)/2 and the radius
R = ( p - z)/2 as suggested by the geometrical symmetry
of the pole-zero configuration (and which can be verified by
straightforward computation). In this case, the circle is the
complete negative feedback root locus (for K > 0) of the
loop gain in (1). = exp(-T/q)
3) Tustin Approximation of the Cascade of the Two First-
r-2 =exp(-T/rz)
Order Lags in (3): Since the two zeros are collocated (at
z1 = z2 = -l), the center and T is the constant sampling period. The step-invariant
1 - PlP2 - - -- M transformation preserves the relative locations of the poles
2, = - (and time-constants) of the analog model in (3); i.e., 7 2 >
2+p1+p2 l+M
71 4 T Z > TI . We observe that bl(T) and b2(T) are positive
and the radius for all T > 0.
The closed-loop characteristic polynomial of the discrete-
time system under proportional control is

where A(z) = z2 + [Kbi(T)- ~ i ( T ) ] +z [Kb2(7')+ a2(T)]. (8)

M= 71 + 72 For realistic sampling period selection (72 > 71 > 2T), the
207172 dominant Jury stability condition is

is the ratio of the arithmetic mean to the square of the -1 < Kb2(T)+ az(T) < 1 (9)
geometric mean of the analog time-constants divided by the
frequency warping factor 0. Since 0 < p i < 1 for i = 1 and hence the exact stable range of the closed-loop discrete-
and 2 and hence 0 < M < 1, the center lies on the negative time system is
unit real-axis (-1 < 5, < 0) and 0 < R < 1. Consequently,
the root locus breaks away from the positive unit real-axis
+ +
at z = 20 R = (1 - M ) / ( l M) , and breaks into the
negative real-axis and terminates at z = 20 - R = -1. In contrast, the correct application of the root-locus and
We thus find that the root locus lies completely within the Jury stability criterion to the proper Tustin model (highlighted
unit circle, suggesting (and confirmed by the Jury stability in Section 3) leads to the misleading conclusion that this ap-
criterion) that the closed-loop discrete-time system (under proximate discrete-time system (with the double zero inserted
proportional control) is stable for all K > 0. To evaluate at z = -1) is stable for all K > 0. In fact, the negative
our findings, we conclude by examining the stability of the feedback closed-loop discrete-time system is stable for only
closed-loop system (under proportional control) incorporating the finite range of gain K specified in (10). And this finite
the exact discrete-time model of the analog transfer function stability range is graphically portrayed by the celebrated (two
in (3). pole - one zero configuration) root locus of classical control
engineering recalled at the outset of this note.
REMARKS
IV. CAUTIONARY
To ascertain the precise stable range of the gain K of the REFERENCES
closed-loop discrete-time system, we apply the Jury stability [ I ] G. F. Franklin, J. David Powell and A. Emami-Naeini, Feedback Conrrul
criterion [3, pp. 35-41 J to the step-invariant transformation of Dynamic Sysfems. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1991, p. 229.
[2] B. C. Kuo, Aurumafic Conrr-ul Systems. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
of the analog model in (3). By design, the step-response Prentice-Hall, 1991, p. 419.
of the step-invariant discrete-time model matches the step- [3] G. F. Franklin, I. D. Powell and M. L. Workman, Digital Control of
response of G ( s ) at the sampling instants. The step-invariant Dynamic Sysfems. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1990.
[4] C. P. Neuman and C. S. Baradello, "Digital transfer functions for
transformation of (3), which models the cascade of a digital- microcomputer control," IEEE Trans. Syst., Man, and Cyher-n., vol.
to-analog converter (DAC), the analog process modeled by SMC-9, no. 12, Dec. 1979, pp. 856-860.
NEUMAN: TWO-POLE TWO-ZERO ROOT LOCUS 37 1

Charles P. Neuman received the B.S. (Honors)

in electrical engineering from Camegie Institute of
Technology (now Camegie Mellon University) in
1962, and the S.M. and Ph.D. in applied mathe-
matics from Harvard University in 1963 and 1968,
respectively. His doctoral dissertation, Frequency
Domain Stahiliry Criteria in Nonlinear Automatic
Control, was written under the supervision of Pro-
fessor K. S. Narendra of Yale University.
At Harvard, he was a Teaching Fellow from 1962
to 1964 and a Research Assistant from 1964 to 1967.
From July 1967 through June 1969 he was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell
Telephone Laboratories, Whippany, NJ. In July 1969, Dr. Neuman became an
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Camegie Mellon University.
From September 1971 through August 1978 he was an Associate Professor,
and from September 1978 through August 1983 a Professor of Electrical
Engineering. Since September 1983, he has been Professor of Electrical
and Computer Engineering. At Camegie Mellon University, Dr. Neuman
active participant in the Control Engineering Program. His current research
interests include robotics; control engineering and adaptive control: control
engineering applications of weighted residual methods; signal processing and
numerical computation: sensitivity analysis and stability theory: and applied
mathematics.
Dr. Neuman is an Associate Editor of IEEE TRANSAC~IONS ON SYSTEM,
MANAND CYBERNETICS and a Member of Editorial Boards of the International
Journal of Modelling and Simulation and Control and Computers. He is a
Senior Member of the IEEE, SIAM, the Institute of Management Sciences,
AAAS, Instrument Society of America (Senior Member), and Sigma Xi, Phi
Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and the Society of Harvard Engineers
and Scientists. He is listed in American Men and Women in Science and
Engineering, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Engineering,
Who's Who in Frontiers of Science and Technology, Who's Who in Technology
Today, Men of Achievement, and the World Directory of Mathematicians.

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