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I am given to understand that there exists software for tuning PID controllers. I haven't had much luck finding references, though. Pros/cons for algorithms, and references for them?

ADDED: I'm specifically looking for a description (scholarly or otherwise) of how automatic tuning software does its job; not references to automatic tuning software or packages. My use case is not "I have a PID control loop I want to automatically tune" but rather, "I wish to write a piece of software to automatically tune PID control loops for particular pieces of hardware, so that others do not have to do the job manually."

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    \$\begingroup\$ The reference states that this is often implemented in hardware. Are there any chips that incorporate PID tuning? \$\endgroup\$ – JonnyBoats Dec 31 '11 at 5:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ PID is usually implemented in software. \$\endgroup\$ – Leon Heller Dec 31 '11 at 12:23
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This paper discusses a method for automatic tuning, that at least this company seems to use for their automatic online self-tuning controller.

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Matlab (expensive) and Scilab (free) offer PID modeling and can be used for tuning PID control systems. Here is an example using Scilab.

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