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Signal processing plays a fundamental role in the design of control systems — the portion of a digitally-implemented control system between the sensor outputs and the actuator inputs is precisely a digital signal processor (DSP). Consequently, effective techniques for design and optimization of signal processing software are important in achieving efficient controller implementations. Motivated by these relationships, this paper reviews techniques for modeling signal processing functionality in a manner that exposes aspects of application structure that are useful for mapping the functionality into efficient implementations. The paper then introduces some representative techniques that operate on such models to systematically derive optimized implementations from them.