Alexander A. Feldbaum

Alexander A. Feldbaum


Saturday, August 16, 1913

Passed away: 

Wednesday, January 15, 1969

Alexander Feldbaum, in full Alexander Aronovich Feldbaum, was born in 1913. From his childhood, Feldbaum was distinguished by outstanding abilities. Note that in 1924, he started secondary school in the 5th grade.

In 1937, Feldbaum graduated with honors from Moscow Power Engineering Institute; in 1941, also with honors, from the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics (Moscow State University, by correspondence). Feldbaum had the rare gift of an outstanding theoretician and a practical engineer.

In 1943, Feldbaum defended his candidate’s dissertation on the theory of control devices; in 1953, his doctoral dissertation on the dynamics of automatic control systems. The doctoral dissertation summarized the development of the linear automatic control systems theory. In particular, Feldbaum conceptualized the degree of oscillation of transients, proved several theorems about transients and their connection with the distribution of the characteristic equation roots, and developed criteria for quadratic errors.

Back in 1948, Feldbaum stated the optimal control problem as a variational problem and solved it for many practical cases. In the early 1950s, he was the first to explain and formulate the general problem of optimal control to the prominent mathematicians headed by Academician L. S. Pontryagin. The result of that research was the discovery of the famous maximum principle in the general theory of optimal control.

In 1953, Feldbaum was awarded the State Prize for developing analog computer machines with nonlinear blocks.

At the Institute of Automation and Remote Control (IARC), the USSR Academy of Sciences, he organized the Laboratory of Search and Self-Adjusting Systems. The world’s first multi-channel search systems (optimizers) were implemented in the Laboratory.

Feldbaum laid the theoretical foundations and formulated determinative ideas of the dual control theory, which reflected the essence of fundamental processes with learning and control. In 1996, at the 13th IFAC World Congress (USA), his research works were noted as outstanding. Several decades after their appearance, Feldbaum’s numerous monographs on control theory and computer science are still popular and have been translated into many languages: Polish, German, Chinese, Japanese, and English.

Feldbaum’s legacy is a golden fund of control science and will long serve as an inspiring source of further studies.

His main books are as follows:

  1. Metody teorii avtomaticheskogo upravleniya (Methods of Automatic Control Theory), Moscow: Nauka, 1971. — 744 p. (coauthor A.G. Butkovskii);
  2. Osnovy teorii optimal’nykh avtomaticheskikh sistem (Foundations of the Theory of Optimal Automatic Systems), Moscow: Nauka, 1966. — 624 p.;
  3. Teoreticheskie osnovy svyazi i upravleniya (Theoretical Foundations of Communication and Control), Moscow: Fizmatgiz, 1963. — 932 p. (coauthors A.D. Dudykin, A.P. Manovtsev, and N.N. Mirolyubov);
  4. Vychislitel’nye ustroistva v avtomaticheskikh sistemakh (Computing Devices in Automatic Systems), Moscow: Fizmatgiz, 1959. — 800 p.;
  5. Elektricheskie sistemy avtomaticheskogo regulirovaniya (Electric Systems of Automatic Regulation), Moscow: Oborongiz, 1957. — 807 p.;
  6. Elektronnye vychislitel’nye ustroistva (Electronic Computing Devices), Moscow: Dzerzhinsky Aviation and Engineering Academy, 1958. — 133 p.;
  7. Vvedenie v teoriyu nelineinykh tsepei (Introduction to the Theory of Nonlinear Circuits), Moscow: Gosenergoizdat, 1948. — 323 p.;
  8. Kurs elektroavtomatiki (A Course on Electric Automation), Moscow: Dzerzhinsky Artillery Academy, 1948. — 263 p.;
  9. Avtomaticheskii kontrol’ lineinykh razmerov izdelii (Automatic Check of Linear Product Dimensions), Moscow: Oborongiz, 1947. — 432 p. (coauthors V.A. Trapeznikov, I.E. Gorodetskii, and B.N. Petrov).

They are presented in the Institute’s database:Фельдбаум

Here is the list of Feldbaum’s papers in Avtomatika i Telemekhanika:

1. A. A. Feldbaum, On a Class of Dual Control Learning Systems, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1964, 25:4,  433—444.
2. I. N. Bocharov, A. A. Feldbaum, Automatic Optimizer for Search of Least of Several Minimums (Global Optimizer), Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1962, 23:3,  289—301.
3. A. A. Feldbaum, On Optimal Control of Markov Processes, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1962, 23:8,  993—1007.
4. A. A. Feldbaum, Theory of Dual Control, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1961, 22:1,  3—16.
5. A. A. Feldbaum, Dual Control Theory. IV, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1961, 22:2,  129—142.
6. A. A. Feldbaum, Dual Control Theory. II, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1960, 21:11,  1453—1464.
7. A. A. Feldbaum, Statistical Theory of Gradient Systems of Automatic Optimization with Quadratic Characteristic of Object, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1960, 21:2,  167—179.
8. A. A. Feldbaum, Errata to the Article: Statistical Theory of Gradient Systems of Automatic Optimization with Quadratic Characteristic of Object, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1960, 21:7,  1098.
9. A. A. Feldbaum, Dual Control Theory. I, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1960, 21:9,  1240—1249.
10. S. A. Doganovsky, A. A. Feldbaum, Analysis of Compensation of the Strip Thickness Variations with the Electronic Analog Computer, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1959, 20:2,  192—205.
11. A. A. Feldbaum, Steady Process in Simplest Discrete Optimizing System with Random Disturbances, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1959, 20:8,  1056—1070.
12. A. A. Feldbaum, Automatic Optimizer, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1958, 19:8,  731—743.
13. R. A. Velerstein, A. A. Feldbaum, Elaboration of an Almost Optimal System by Means of an Electronic Analog, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1958, 19:9,  824—835.
14. L. V. Medvedev, A. A. Feldbaum, L. N. Fitzner, The Non-linear Function Generator Possessing Only One Input, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1957, 18:10,  899—910.
15. A. A. Feldbaum, Simplest Relay Systems for Automatic Regulation, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1949, 10:4,  249—266.
16. A. Mikhailov, D. Maryanovskii, A. Feldbaum, Conclusion on V. A. Besekerskii’s Book “Remote Control of Artillery Installations”. Part I. Foundations of the Theory of Automatic Regulation and the Theory of Synchronous Tracking Drive. Leningrad, 1947, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1949, 10:4,  321—324.
17. A. A. Feldbaum, Precise Dimensional Control by Electrical Methods, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1940:1,  95—106.

For their English versions, see the microfilm collection of Automation and Remote Control:

Many inventions by Feldbaum are available at:

Articles about A.A. Feldbaum

1. A.A. Feldbaum (obituary), Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1969:6,   205—206.

Also, see the Wikipedia page devoted to Feldbaum:Фельдбаум,_Александр_Аронович