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Compressor stall phenomena is analyzed from nonlinear control theory viewpoint, based on bifurcation-catastrophe techniques. This new approach appears promising and offers insight into such well known compressor instability problems as surge and rotating stall; furthermore it suggests strategies for recovery from stall. Three interlocking dynamic nonlinear state space models are developed. It is shown that the problem of rotating stall can be viewed as an (induced) bifurcation of solution of the unstalled model. Hysteresis effect is shown to exist in the stall/recovery process. Surge cycles are observed to develop for some critical parameter values. It is shown that the oscillatory behavior is due to development of limit cycles, generated by Hopf bifurcation of solutions. Both stable and unstable limit cycles are observed. To further illustrate the usefulness of the methodology some partial computation of domains of attraction of equilibria is carried out, and parameter sensitivity analysis is performed.