LTI Viewer

Plot Types Available in the LTI Viewer

The LTI Viewer is a GUI for viewing and manipulating the response plots of linear models. You can display the following plot types for linear models using the LTI Viewer:

  • Step and impulse responses

  • Bode and Nyquist plots

  • Nichols plots

  • Singular values of the frequency response

  • Pole/zero plots

  • Response to a general input signal

  • Unforced response starting from given initial states (only for state-space models)

Note that time responses and pole/zero plots are not available for FRD models.

    Note   The LTI Viewer displays up to six different plot types simultaneously. You can also analyze the response plots of several linear models at once.

This figure shows an LTI Viewer with two response plots.

The LTI Viewer with Step and Impulse Response Plots

The next section presents an example that shows you how to import a system into the LTI Viewer and how to customize the viewer to fit your requirements.

Example: Time and Frequency Responses of the DC Motor

SISO Example: The DC Motor presents a DC motor example. If you have not yet built that example, type

load ltiexamples

at the MATLAB® prompt. This loads several LTI models, including a state-space representation of the DC motor called sys_dc.

Opening the LTI Viewer

To open the LTI Viewer, type


This opens an LTI Viewer with an empty step response plot window by default.

Importing Models into the LTI Viewer

To import the DC motor model, select Import under the File menu. This opens the Import System Data dialog box, which lists all the models available in your MATLAB workspace.

Import System Data Dialog Box with the DC Motor Model Selected

Select sys_dc from the list of available models and click OK to close the browser. This imports the DC motor model into the LTI Viewer.

To select more than one model at a time, do the following:

  • To select individual (noncontiguous) models, select one model and hold down the Ctrl key while selecting additional models. To clear any models, hold down the Ctrl key while you click the highlighted model names.

  • To select a list of contiguous models, select the first model and hold down the Shift key while selecting the last model you want in the list.

The figure below shows the LTI Viewer with a step response for the DC motor example.

Step Response for the DC Motor Example in the LTI Viewer

Alternatively, you can open the LTI Viewer and import the DC motor example directly from the MATLAB prompt.

ltiview('step', sys_dc)

See the ltiview reference page for a complete list of options.

Right-Click Menus

The LTI Viewer provides a set of controls and options that you can access by right-clicking your mouse. Once you have imported a model into the LTI Viewer, the options you can select include

  • Plot Types — Change the plot type. Available types include step, impulse, Bode, Bode magnitude, Nichols, Nyquist, and singular values plots.

  • Systems — Select or clear any models that you included when you created the response plot.

  • Characteristics — Add information about the plot. The characteristics available change from plot to plot. For example, Bode plots have stability margins available, but step responses have rise time and steady-state values available.

  • Grid — Add grids to your plots.

  • Normalize — Scale responses to fit the view (only available for time-domain plot types).

  • Full View — Use automatic limits to make the entire curve visible.

  • Properties — Open the Property Editor.

    You can use this editor to customize various attributes of your plot. See Customizing Plot Properties and Preferences for a full description of the Property Editor.

    Alternatively, you can open the Property Editor by double-clicking in an empty region of the response plot.

Displaying Response Characteristics on a Plot

For example, to see the rise time for the DC motor step response, right-click and select Characteristics > Rise Time.

Using Right-Click Menus to Display the Rise Time for a Step Response

By default, the rise time is defined as the amount of time it takes the step response to go from 10% to 90% of the steady-state value. You can change this range in the options tab of the property editor. For more information on the property editor, see Customizing Plot Properties and Preferences.

The LTI Viewer calculates and displays the rise time for the step response.

DC Motor Step Response with the Rise Time Displayed

To display the values of any plot characteristic marked on a plot, place your mouse on the blue dot that marks the characteristic. This opens a data marker with the relevant information displayed. To make the marker persistent, left-click the blue dot.

For example, this figure shows the rise time value for the DC motor step response.

Using Your Mouse to Get the Rise Time Values

Note that you can left-click anywhere on a particular plot line to see the response values of that plot at that point. You must either place your cursor over the blue dot or left-click, however, if you want to see the rise time value.

For more information about data markers, see Data Markers.

Changing Plot Type

You can view other plots using the right-click menus in the LTI Viewer. For example, if you want to see the open loop Bode plots for the DC motor model, select Plot Type and then Bode from the right-click menu.

Changing the Step Response to a Bode Plot

Selecting Bode changes the step response to a Bode plot for the DC motor model.

Bode Plot for the DC Motor Model

Showing Multiple Response Types

If you want to see, for example, both a step response and a Bode plot at the same time, you have to reconfigure the LTI Viewer. To view different response types in a single LTI Viewer, select Plot Configurations under the Edit menu. This opens the Plot Configurations dialog box.

Using the Plot Configurations Dialog Box to Reconfigure the LTI Viewer

You can select up to six plots in one viewer. Choose the Response type for each plot area from the right-side menus. There are nine available plot types:

  • Step

  • Impulse

  • Linear Simulation

  • Initial Condition

  • Bode (magnitude and phase)

  • Bode Magnitude (only)

  • Nyquist

  • Nichols

  • Singular Value

  • Pole/Zero

  • I/O pole/zero

Comparing Multiple Models

This section shows you how to import and manipulate multiple models in one LTI Viewer. For example, if you have designed a set of compensators to control a system, you can compare the closed-loop step responses and Bode plots using the LTI Viewer.

A sample set of closed-loop transfer function models is included (along with some other models) in the MAT-file ltiexamples.mat. Type

load ltiexamples

to load the provided transfer functions. The three closed-loop transfer function models, Gcl1, Gcl2, and Gcl3, are for a satellite attitude controller.

In this example, you analyze the response plots of the Gcl1 and Gcl2 transfer functions.

Initializing the LTI Viewer with Multiple Plots

To load the two models Gcl1 and Gcl2 into the LTI Viewer, select Import under the File menu and select the desired models in the LTI Browser. See Importing Models into the LTI Viewer for a description of how to select groups of models. If necessary, you can reconfigure the viewer to display both the step responses and the Bode plots of the two systems using the Viewer Configuration dialog box. See Showing Multiple Response Types for a discussion of this feature.

Alternatively, you can open an LTI Viewer with both systems and both the step responses and Bode plots displayed. To do this, type


Either approach opens the following LTI Viewer.

Multiple Response Plots in a Single LTI Viewer

Inspecting Response Characteristics

To mark the settling time on the step responses presented in this example, do the following:

  • Right-click anywhere in the plot region of the step response plots. This opens the right-click menu list in the plot region.

  • Select Characteristics > Settling Time.

To mark the stability margins of the Bode plot in this example, right-click and select Characteristics > Minimum Stability Margins.

Your LTI Viewer should now look like this.

Multiple Plots with Response Characteristics Added

The minimum stability margins, meaning the smallest magnitude phase and gain margins, are displayed as green and blue markers on the Bode phase diagram. If you want to see all the gain and phase margins of a system, right-click and select Characteristics > Minimum Stability Margins.

Toggling Model Visibility

If you have imported more than one model, you can select and clear which models to plot in the LTI Viewer using right-click menus. For example, if you import the following three models into the viewer, you can choose to view any combination of the three you want.


This figure shows how to clear the second of the three models using right-click menu options.

Using Right-Click Menus to Select/Clear Plotted Systems

The Systems menu lists all the imported models. A system is selected if a check mark is visible to the left of the system name.

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