I would like to know if in a first course in control systems at the undergraduate level I would miss much by using Octave instead of Matlab? I understand that Matlab has simulink but regarding basic control system design, is Octave enough?

  • \$\begingroup\$ check the toolboxes for functionality by comparing functions., both of them are available online. \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike
    Oct 30 '17 at 18:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ For undergraduate Control, Octave is fine. Command set is identical to Matlab, but toolboxes are limited - the Control Systems toolbox is provided in the latest versions though. Matlab does have a student version that is low cost and includes Simulink. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chu
    Oct 30 '17 at 19:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chu I would preferably go for an older book in Control since newer books seem to use Simulink. Yes toolboxes are somewhat limited in Octave and everything is not as polished. \$\endgroup\$
    – user11206
    Oct 31 '17 at 14:35

I've finished my masters degree in electrical engineering one month ago and throughout my entire studies, i only used octave instead of matlab. I also had some control systems classes, which can be perfectly done with the control toolbox for octave (it is not built in). However, as you mentioned, octave has nothing like simulink, so if you need something like that, you don't really have a choice. For the matlab part and the usual undergraduate control systems classes, octave should be perfectly fine!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is "octave" a product name? "Octave"? \$\endgroup\$
    – Transistor
    Oct 30 '17 at 17:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Transistor It is. See gnu.org/software/octave \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30 '17 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you heard of, or used, OpenModelica? I've only just started trying it out, but it seems as though it may be useful here. I have to admit no familiarity with simulink except for a quick google search and a minute's reading time, though. But perhaps your background would allow you to quickly see about it. And good answer! \$\endgroup\$
    – jonk
    Oct 30 '17 at 18:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! This is my first time hearing of OpenModelica, so thank you alot for pointing this out. I will definately have a look into this. \$\endgroup\$
    – pschulz
    Oct 30 '17 at 19:00
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @pschulz Glad to point it out. I only heard about it a few months back and found it an interesting tool which provided a service and convenience that I didn't have in other tools. I'm still learning about it as time allows. But it's one of those tools that I perceive I will be still more glad of, as I learn better how to apply it. (You need to write "@jonk" in your message if you want this software to ping me with a notice that you wrote back -- just FYI.) \$\endgroup\$
    – jonk
    Oct 30 '17 at 19:20

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