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This paper presents a constructive method for (sub)optimal finite-impulse response (FIR) approximation of infinite-impulse response (IIR) models. The method minimizes the Hankel norm of the approximation error by using an explicit solution to the norm-preserved dilation problem. It has advantages over the existing methods in that it is a unified method for both single-input single-output and multiple-input multiple-output systems which allows direct tradeoff between the least-squares and Chebyshev error criteria by using a single tuning parameter, and that the approximation algorithm is constructive and only involves algebraic manipulations rather than iteration and convex optimization procedures. The lower and upper bounds on the l2 and Chebyshev norms of the approximation error are derived and are related to the tuning parameter. The problem of approximating noncausal IIR models by causal FIR models is also formulated and solved. The effectiveness and properties of the proposed algorithms are demonstrated by examples.