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To realize accurate control for district heating system, a GPC (generalized predictive control) adaptive algorithm was presented that directly identified controller's parameters with two identifiers. The algorithm could adapt characteristics of district heating system such as great inertia, time-varying and large lag. It could omit computation of inverse matrix and Diophantine equations, and then greatly reduce operation process and time. Then, a controller based on the algorithm was designed and applied to the simulation model of heat-exchanging process. Finally, by the simulation, the influence of control weighting parameter and feedforward compensation is analyzed, and the validity of the algorithm is proved.