An objective is a must for a control system. If there is none, then why you design it? The same is also true for human, when he/she is heading for somewhere, it seems that there should be a reason for every journey. Every now and then, however, such a reason may be blurred and the traveler seems to go astray.
Success is elusive. The more disappoint thing is, we, the one stands out of the focus, do not even know what the final psychological state of winning a Olympic medal or a best IEEE student paper award. The only thing we know is that such a shining piece of metal is attached to the chest of the winner, with his/her wide smile ( also tears of course). What do we want, then? We do not even know what it feels like at that step, which means something totally ambiguous and mysterious is just there but far away here. Use the control jargon, we do not even know the actual state trajectory towards the ‘Success’ point. What is accessible is just an output of that point, with the true state passing through a C matrix, unobservable.
I still remember my friend, a hardware genius in my college. He can ‘guess’ where the problem is with the machine and figure out how to fix it within minutes. That guy is almost made for engineering. He started to fix and create mechanical gears or toys even when he is still in primary school, while I was still immersed in the story books and video games. The internal state of his brain is totally different from his peers, which can select the most important details to form a problem-solving strategy.
Think about a Artificial neural network (ANN), it seems that we can change the state and weights of its node and links of the brain however we like. With many trials, the state combination of the ANN may be quite different, and get endowed with similar behavior as the hardware guru. However, we still cannot verify that the state is the very state of my fellow student’s mind. You can only ensure a mapping of limited input to output, but what will happen if new problems emerge, in quite a different scenario?
Similarly, everybody has their own perspective into success. But not every one wins. Some of them is not strong and hard working enough, some of them are heading for the wrong way. To put it more clearly, some of them forms a wrong combination of states in their brain, leading to a seemingly successful, yet a output distant from the success.
Here comes the tragedy : one has to care about a set of states to attain his goal, instead of the primary goal. It is just like you have to care about directing each of every one of individual animal in a huge flock, without an exact combination available. There are way too many possibilities there.
Is there a solution? Perhaps it is the state-space methodology that leads to a hell of chaos and formidable complexity. A solution may exist, but it will not be addressed here.