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Availability of low-cost electronics has led to a new breed of control system components, so-called smart components, which can perform control actions in the actuator and sensor components as well as in the controller. ldquoSmartrdquo components can communicate bidirectionally in networked control systems (NCSs). One can improve control system performance and design due to the decentralized, yet more connected, nature of these systems. Current research on NCSs primarily focuses on communication loss and delay. This paper investigates the potential benefits of bidirectional communication in a feedback control loop, which is at the heart of so many applications. First, a definition and quantification of component-swapping modularity is presented. Next, an optimal design formulation is presented for an NCS that maximizes component-swapping modularity. The approach is then demonstrated with an example of driveshaft speed control with a dc motor.