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Several clock and time scale steering methods have been developed according to different viewpoints by various time laboratories. By resorting to control theory ideas, we propose a common theoretical framework encompassing these methods. A comparison of the most common steering methodologies, namely, the classical steering approach, the GPS bang-bang method, and the linear quadratic Gaussian technique, is carried out. We believe that the use of control theory methods can potentially lead to a better understanding of clock steering algorithms.