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The problem of pole assignment in linear, multivariable systems using an unconstrained-rank feedback matrix is considered. The effect of output feedback of unspecified rank on the characteristic polynomial of a multivariable system is first studied. The results are then used to derive a recursive algorithm for pole assignment without any restrictions on the rank of the output feedback matrix used. The method is based on the pseudoinverse concept for obtaining least-squares solutions of sets of linear equations, and is computationally efficient.