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**Abstract.**

Plant structure is utilized for the simplification of system analysis
and controller synthesis. For plants where the directionality is
independent of frequency, the singular value decomposition (SVD) is
used to decouple the system into nominally independent subsystems of
lower dimension. In H2- and H-infinity-optimal control, the controller
synthesis can thereafter be performed for each of these subsystems
independently, and the resulting overall SVD controller will be
optimal (the same will hold for any norm which is invariant under
unitary transformations). In H-infinity-optimal control the resulting
controller is also super-optimal, as a controller of dimension n x n
will minimize the norm in n directions. For robust control in terms of
the structured singular value, mu , the SVD controller is optimal for
a practically relevant class of block diagonal structures and
uncertainty and performance weights. The results are applied to the
ill-conditioned distillation case study of Skogestad et al. (1988),
where it is shown that an SVD controller is mu-optimal for the case of
unstructured input uncertainty.