Transfer functions of regular linear systems. Part II: The system operator and the Lax-Phillips semigroup

Olof Staffans*, George Weiss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is a sequel to a paper by the second author on regular linear systems (1994), referred to here as "Part I". We introduce the system operator of a well-posed linear system, which for a finite-dimensional system described by ẋ = Ax + Bu, y = Cx + Du would be the s-dependent matrix S∑(s) = [CA-sIDB]. In the general case, S∑(s) is an unbounded operator, and we show that it can be split into four blocks, as in the finite-dimensional case, but the splitting is not unique (the upper row consists of the uniquely determined blocks A-sI, and B, as in the finite-dimensional case, but the lower row is more problematic). For weakly regular systems (which are introduced and studied here), there exists a special splitting of S∑(s) where the right lower block is the feedthrough operator of the system. Using S∑(0), we give representation theorems which generalize those from Part I to well-posed linear systems and also to the situation when the "initial time" is -∞. We also introduce the Lax-Phillips semigroup T-fraktur sign induced by a well-posed linear system, which is in fact an alternative representation of a system, used in scattering theory. Our concept of a Lax-Phillips semigroup differs in several respects from the classical one, for example, by allowing an index ω ε ℝ which determines an exponential weight in the input and output spaces. This index allows us to characterize the spectrum of A and also the points where S∑(s) is not invertible, in terms of the spectrum of the generator of T-fraktur sign (for various values of ω). The system ∑ is dissipative if and only if T-fraktur sign (with index zero) is a contraction semigroup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3229-3262
Number of pages34
JournalTransactions of the American Mathematical Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • (Weakly) regular linear system
  • Dissipative system
  • Generating operators
  • Lax-Phillips semigroup
  • Operator semigroup
  • Scattering theory
  • System operator
  • Well-posed linear system
  • Well-posed transfer function


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