Project updates: May 2016


The development of FOMCON toolbox for MATLAB has been moved to GitHub! You can now download the master branch at any time with the latest updates from the fomcon-matlab repository.

This is meant to facilitate the distribution of latest updates and bugfixes. I will still release major versions of the toolbox through this website and maintain the documentation section.

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Project updates: April 2016

UPDATE (April 19, 2016): The impulse() function for FOTF objects has been fixed and the toolbox has been updated to version 1.21b. Download the new version now.

We would like to announce the update of FOMCON toolbox for MATLAB to version 1.2b. Please note that this is a beta release which is intended mostly for evaluation of new features. Previously available features should work as before.

New features
  • Initial support for working with fractional-order state-space models including a Simulink block through the use of FOSS objects. Therefore, fractional-order MIMO systems can now be studied using FOMCON. Because the feature set is preliminary, the release is in “beta” status and previous documentation will not be updated at this time.
Various improvements
  • Started to rewrite some of the basic FOTF support functions (step, impulse, etc.) to make them more compatible with Control System toolbox.
  • Added the possibility to set computation accuracy for internal operations with FOTF objects. It can be set in the FOMCON options structure.
Bug fixes
  • Evaluation of FOTF objects with small coefficients should now work. See the description of the above mentioned improvement. See the associated bug report.

The updated toolbox can be downloaded in the corresponding section.

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Project updates: February 2016

We would like to announce the update of FOMCON toolbox for MATLAB to version 1.1. This release offers several important features mostly related to improvement of user experience.

New features
  • Huge UX (User eXperience) improvement for all optimization-based tools. Wrapper functions are now available for fid(), pfid(), and fpid_optimize() functions that create a progress window which shows the current parameters, and allow to either stop the identification (or optimization) process while keeping the intermediate search variables, or to abort the process to keep the old values. Moreover, performance history is saved and may be viewed from the PUI (Process UI) later. For FOPID optimization tool the controller parameter change history is also saved and may be used for various purposes, such as choosing different starting points in the parameter search space;
  • A Monte-Carlo method based test simulation facility – testsim() function – is added to check the behavior under parameter uncertainties of a model obtained via time domain identification. It is directly accessible from the fotfid() GUI menu;
  • refgen() class now has basic support for using it in the “From Workspace” Simulink block. See the documentation for the tows() function.
Various improvements
  • Removed the restriction of the stability test using the isstable() function for systems with internal delay. In the current implementation, this restriction was rather artificial and had no effect on stability per se.
NB! The order of the menu items in fotfid() GUI has changed! This was done to make the structure of the menu more logical.

Bug fixes
  • Fixed bug in nyquist() function – lower frequency bound for no argument supplied is now correctly set.
  • fpid_optim() tool was made compatible with most recent MATLAB version.

The updated toolbox can be downloaded in the corresponding section.

Since no changes were introduced into the core functions, toolbox documentation will not be updated with this release. Docs published for v1.0 on this website are valid. To access documentation for new functions, use the usual help() or doc() facilities in MATLAB.

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Commenting Disabled due to Spam Outbreak

Commenting is now globally disabled one the website due to a massive spam outbreak. Unfortunately, this also affects posting on the forums. I cannot tell you now when commenting will be enabled (if ever), but I will work towards making the forums functional again. Sorry for the inconvenience, but it just takes too much time to clear the spam comments off the website.

UPDATE: You can now register on the website (see the “Login/register” tab in the right side column). With a valid registration you can post comments and use the forum. Reporting bugs does not require a registration.

Please note that your registration must be manually approved by the website administrator. This takes at most 1-2 working days. Finally, the administrator has to approve your first comment on the website.

If you have questions regarding FOMCON, please send them to me directly (you can find contact information on this website). If you find a bug in FOMCON toolbox, please report it via the bug tracker.

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Project updates: August 2015

We would like to announce the launch of FOMCON toolbox for MATLAB version 1.0. This release offers several important features. Since the latest release many bugs have been identified and fixed, and we believe that it is now possible to provide a stable version of the toolbox for download.

Kindly note that all further releases in the 1.x branch will only serve to fix potential bugs as well as introducing minor features. The 2.x branch will be developed in parallel and shall offer even more flexibility in working with fractional systems, models and controllers.

New features
  • Identification tool updates: identification algorithm selection, residual analysis;
  • Parametric identification tool added: see documentation for pfid() function for details;
  • FOPID controller optimization tool updates: setting custom reference signal for reference-based optimization now possible;
  • New convenience function: refgen() for generating identification/reference signals.
Bug fixes
  • Numerous bugs fixed, see the bug tracker for a list of major closed bugs.

In addition, latest developments were added related to published results, including the Simulink retuning controller library. Type retuning_controllers in the MATLAB command prompt to open the library. See the corresponding publication for details.

The updated toolbox can be downloaded in the corresponding section.

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Post-doc Position Available in Control Systems Research Laboratory

There is a Post-doc position available in Control Systems Research Laboratory, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia. For more information please see the original announcement. The deadline for submission of applications is August 31, 2015.
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Scientific Talks related to FOMCON Project and Toolbox Published on Laboratory Website

Recent conference talks related to FOMCON project (and toolbox) were published on the Alpha Control Laboratory website. Here are the links to the talks:

Some of the features discussed in the talks are already incorporated into FOMCON toolbox, and will be available in the next release.

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Project updates: November 2013

An update for the FOMCON toolbox has been released: version 0.41 beta. With this release we bring you an important bug fix which was causing problems when simulating fractional-order controllers with $\lambda=\mu=1$. This was due to incorrect calls to toproper() function which are now corrected.

In addition, several new features have been implemented. The most important ones are related to the fractional-order PID optimization tool and are as follows:

  • All FOMCON options related to FOPID optimization are now saved and restored with the optimization project (“Save/load configuration” menu items in fpid_optim).
  • It is now possible to specify the desired crossover frequency $\omega_c$ of the control system in the constraints panel without requesting the robustness criterion (which is “phase response is flat at crossover frequency”). To use this feature, set $\omega_{high}$ to $-1$. The same goes for the command line tool fpid_optimize().

The updated toolbox can be downloaded in the corresponding section.

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Project updates: October 2013

It is our pleasure to announce the immediate release of a FOMCON toolbox update. Although some changes in the API are still possible in future versions, the core of the toolbox is now quite stable. Bearing this in mind, we have moved the project to the beta stage.

New features

  • New analog implementation module added; please see [1] for some hands-on examples of using it. A GUI for this feature will be implemented and included in a toolbox update.
  • Several fractional-order transfer function analysis tools added, including fractional-order root locus analysis tool;
  • Global and local function configuration options have been made available further enhancing the flexibility of the toolbox; in particular, it is now possible to save and restore all the configuration parameters in the fpid_optim() tool, a useful feature to effectively handle the abundance of available optimization options;
  • All graphical user interfaces reworked to further facilitate the workflow, e.g. the fotfid() tool now fully supports FO process model identification; several new components added;
  • New fractional-order transfer function blocks in Simulink: in these, model coefficients and exponents are entered numerically, so they can be used as building blocks for more complex systems.

Bug fixes

  • NB! The calling sequence to the fractional-order transfer function identification function fid() has changed! Please see the documentation for further details;
  • Numerous bugs fixed, see the bug tracker for a list of major closed bugs.


The toolbox is available for download in the corresponding section of the website. The documentation has been updated as well. Please clean the FOMCON website page cache if you have any problems with viewing it. Legacy documentation is still available at

We also hope, that the release cycle for the toolbox will be shorter from now on. Kindly report any bugs you may encounter!

Note on upgrading the FOMCON toolbox: please overwrite existing files with the new ones.


[1]A. Tepljakov, E. Petlenkov, and J. Belikov, Efficient analog implementations of fractional-order controllers,” in Proc. of the 14th International Carpathian Control Conference (ICCC), 2013, pp. 377–382.
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Paper to be presented at MSC’2013 conference

A FOMCON project related paper will be presented this summer at the 2013 Multiconference on Systems and Control (MSC’2013) held in Hyderabad International Convention Centre, India, August 28-30. The paper is entitled “Fractional-order Controller Design and Digital Implementation using FOMCON Toolbox for MATLAB”. In this work, we describe the process of implementation of a fractional PID controller for a particular laboratory heating system. You will also learn about the new developments in the FOMCON project. The talk will be given by Aleksei Tepljakov.

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