# Statement of the Problem

Kirk describes optimal control thus:

The objective of optimal control theory isto determine the control signals that will cause a process to satisfy the physical constraints and at the same time minimize(or maximize)some performance criterion.

He then requires three things for the formulation of an optimal control problem:

- A mathematical model of the process we wish to control;
- A statement of the constraints on the system & controls; and
- Specification of a performance criterion.

I’ll get into a discussion of these terms next post.