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The NIST Real-time Control System (RCS) An Applications Survey



James S. Albus


The Real-time Control System (RCS) architecture developed at NIST and elsewhere over the past two decades [1] defines a canonical form for a nested intelligent control system. The RCS architecture consists of a hierarchically layered set of processing modules connected together by a network of communications pathways. The primary distinguishing feature of the layers is the bandwidth of the control loops. The characteristic bandwidth of each level is determined by the spatial and temporal integration window of filters, the temporal frequency of signals and events, the spatial frequency of patterns, and the planning horizon and granularity of the planners that operate at each level. At each level, tasks are decomposed into sequential subtasks, to be performed by cooperating sets of subordinate agents. Signals from sensors are filtered and correlated with spatial and temporal features that are relevant to the control function being implemented at that level.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the AAAI 1995 Spring Symposium Series
Conference Dates
March 27-29, 1995
Conference Location
Stanford University (Menlo Park), CA
Conference Title
AAAI 1995 Spring Symposium Series


coal mine automation, Intelligent control, NASREM, Open architecture controllers


Albus, J. (1995), The NIST Real-time Control System (RCS) An Applications Survey, Proceedings of the AAAI 1995 Spring Symposium Series, Stanford University (Menlo Park), CA, [online], (Accessed July 17, 2024)


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Created March 1, 1995, Updated February 17, 2017