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Model identification for respiratory control during exercise motivates a modeling perspective concerning input design, structure identification and statistical justification. From this perspective, a functional model is proposed and initially tested in two "quiet breathers" and two "noisy breathers" using a pulse input in cycle ergometer work-rate. The results indicate that an input design that yields a higher signal to noise ratio is needed to justify the model in the "noisy breathers." Implications for alternative input designs are discussed.