The evolution of the adaptive control algorithms driven by the results obtained in the application of the 1st generation of adaptive controllers (model reference adaptive control, self-tuning minimum variance) is examined. Research in the field of adaptive control has been directed, on the one hand, toward the development of a robust general purpose adaptive controller and, on the other, towards the extension of the model reference adaptive control approach to nonlinear systems. Research has also investigated the stability/passivity approach for developing dedicated adaptive control algorithms for particular classes of nonlinear plants (e.g., rigid robots). The paper will review the results obtained in these directions both from the theoretical and the practical points of view. In the final part, current research directions will be included.

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