Getting Started

Getting Started #

This library uses the cross-platform tool CMake to orchestrate the building and testing process on Linux, MacOS, and Windows.

ldsCtrlEst requires Armadillo for linear algebra as well as HDF5 for saving output. vcpkg is a cross-platform C++ package manager which allows us to easily install and use the dependencies in isolation.

Tested Configurations #

Building C++ libraries with complex dependencies can be tricky business—in our experience builds have inexplicably worked in one environment and failed in another. To save you time, sweat, and tears, we suggest you simply use one of the following setups we know work fairly reliably, using the RelWithDebInfo build type in the CMake configure command (-DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE:STRING=RelWithDebInfo):

  • Ubuntu 18.04 with GCC 7.5 compiler
  • macOS 11 (Big Sur) with Apple Clang 12 compiler
  • Windows 10 with Visual Studio 16.11 (2019 release) and Clang 12 compiler

That being said, if you want to debug a build for a single platform, here are some things you can try:

  • Use different compilers (or even different versions of a single compiler)
  • Use different versions of vcpkg (which you can control by checking out a different commit in the vcpkg submodule)

Mac Pre-requisities #

Xcode Command Line Tools will get you clang, gcc, make, and git:

xcode-select --install

Homebrew is “The Missing Package Manager for macOS” which will make installing lots of things easy. Install like this:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

You can then use it to install CMake and gfortran:

brew install cmake gfortran

Linux Pre-requisites #

You’ll need Git, CMake, GCC, gfortran, etc.

sudo apt install git cmake pkg-config gfortran curl zip unzip tar build-essential

Windows Installation #

Look here for Windows-specific instructions.

Downloading the Library #

First, clone the repository along with submodules:

git clone 
cd lds-ctrl-est
git submodule update --init

Compilation + Installation #

Now generate the cache and build using your IDE or from the command line as follows.

mkdir build && cd build
cmake ..
cmake --build .

The first time, vcpkg will automatically install dependencies into [build directory]/vcpkg_installed/, which will likely take about 10-20 minutes.

If you want to use vcpkg set up somewhere besides this repo’s submodule, add -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=[path to vcpkg]/scripts/buildsystems/vcpkg.cmake to the cmake command directly or through your IDE’s settings.

You can verify the build is working by running ctest from the build folder, which runs all the example scripts.

Options #

This project is configured/compiled/installed by way of CMake and (on Unix-based operating systems) GNU Make. For configuration with CMake, there are three available options.

  1. LDSCTRLEST_BUILD_EXAMPLES : [default=ON] whether to build example programs located under examples/ in the source tree
  2. LDSCTRLEST_BUILD_FIT : [default=ON] whether to build the auxiliary fitting portion of the source code that is not pertinent to control implementation
  3. LDSCTRLEST_BUILD_STATIC : [default=ON] whether to statically link against OpenBLAS and create a static ldsCtrlEst library for future use

n.b., If both options 2 and 3 are enabled, Matlab/Octave mex functions will be compiled for exposing some of the fitting functionality to Matlab/Octave, assuming these programs are installed.

Below are example usages of cmake to configure/build the library.

  • For basic project build & install

    cd /path/to/repository
    mkdir build && cd build
    cmake .. #configure build
    cmake --build #build the project
    sudo make install #[optional] installs to default location (OS-specific)
  • To set the install prefix

    cd /path/to/repository
    mkdir build && cd build
    cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/your/install/prefix .. #configure build with chosen install location
    cmake --build #build the project
    make install #install to /your/install/prefix
  • To build the bare bones project, excluding fit code and Matlab mex code.

    cd /path/to/repository
    mkdir build && cd build
    cmake -DLDSCTRLEST_BUILD_FIT=0 .. #configure not to build the fitting portion of library
    make #build the project

    n.b., If you choose not to install the library or install it to the non-default location, ensure you have updated the following environment variables on Unix-based operating systems.

    1. LD_LIBRARY_PATH: search path for dynamically loaded libraries
    2. PKG_CONFIG_PATH: search path for pkg-config tool

On Windows, you may need to add the build location to the PATH environment variable for the library to be used elsewhere.

Python bindings package ldsctrlest #

With the LDSCTRLEST_BUILD_PYTHON setting (off by default) and the pybind11 submodule initialized, you can build Python bindings. You will probably want to specify the installation of Python to use by adding a -DPython3_ROOT_DIR=[path/to/install/dir] argument to the CMake cache generation command (the first one) so CMake doesn’t use an undesired version. That environment needs to have NumPy installed.

cmake --build . --target python_modules

The bindings need to be generated just once per Python version. Once the build is complete, navigate to the [build location]/python folder and run pip install . to make it importable anywhere for your current environment. The file structure only works correctly for this if you use a single-config generator like Ninja or Make, though. You can verify the installation was successful by running pytest from the build/python directory (pip install pytest matplotlib first if you need to).

See python/ldsctrlest/ for usage details.

Also, beware that a single build will probably not work for both the standalone library and the Python package, since the conversion between NumPy and Armadillo alters the way Armadillo allocates memory. In this case you may want to build once with -DLDSCTRLEST_BUILD_PYTHON=ON, install the package, then again with -DLDSCTRLEST_BUILD_PYTHON=OFF for the pure C++ build to work correctly.

Common issues #

  1. “I have built the library and installed it in a non-default location. In building my own project linking against ldsCtrlEst, cmake or pkg-config cannot find the library or its configuration information.”

If cmake and/or pkg-config cannot find the required configuration files for your project to link against ldsCtrlEst, make sure that these utilities know to look for them in the non-default location where you installed the library. For cmake this means adding your chosen install prefix to the environment variable CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH. Similarly, for pkg-config you need to add your/install/prefix/lib/pkgconfig to its search path, PKG_CONFIG_PATH. Assuming a Unix shell whose login startup file is ~/.profile and ldsCtrlEst was installed using prefix your/install/prefix, add the following to .profile.

export CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=$CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH:/your/install/prefix
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$PKG_CONFIG_PATH:/your/install/prefix
  1. vcpkg fails on configuration

Try running ./bootstrap-vcpkg from the vcpkg folder and try again. If that doesn’t work, try updating vcpkg to a newer version (in the source control tab, click on the commit hash by the vcpkg repo then select from the dropdown) and running boostsrap-vcpkg again. You can also try upgrading your system (e.g., apt update, apt upgrade).

  1. Could not find Python3 (missing: Python3_NumPy_INCLUDE_DIRS NumPy)

    Make sure NumPy is installed in the Python environment you specified. If CMake still can’t find it, you may need to tell CMake exactly where to find it by adding an argument to the configure command: -DPython3_NumPy_INCLUDE_DIR=.... You can find that location like this: python -c 'import numpy; print(numpy.get_include())'