Classifying intelligence in machines: a taxonomy of intelligent control

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The quest to create machines that can solve problems as humans do leads us to intelligent control. This field encompasses control systems that can adapt to changes and learn to improve their actions—traits typically associated with human intelligence. In this work we seek to determine how intelligent these classes of control systems are by quantifying their level of adaptability and learning. First we describe the stages of development towards intelligent control and present a definition based on literature. Based on the key elements of this definition, we propose a novel taxonomy of intelligent control methods, which assesses the extent to which they handle uncertainties in three areas: the environment, the controller, and the goals. This taxonomy is applicable to a variety of robotic and other autonomous systems, which we demonstrate through several examples of intelligent control methods and their classifications. Looking at the spread of classifications based on this taxonomy can help researchers identify where control systems can be made more intelligent.
Original languageEnglish
Article number64
Number of pages19
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2020


  • intelligent control
  • taxonomy
  • robotics
  • neural network control
  • fuzzy logic control
  • evolutionary algorithms
  • artificial intelligence


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