Test Your EQ (Engineering Quotient)

EQ #50

In general, is it possible to determine whether a system is linear and time-invariant (LTI) by simply examining its input and output signals?

In general, given an input signal and an output signal, you might be able to definitively state that the system is not linear and time-invariant (LTI), but you’ll never be able to definitively state that it is, only that it might be.

The general technique is to use information in the input signal to see whether the output signal can be composed from the input features. Input signals (e.g., impulses and steps) are easist to analyze, but other signals can also be analyzed.


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