The linear state-space model (SSM) is built from a standard linear dynamical system in Equation (2.4). However, the state is not observed directly but only through another linear mapping. The basic model can be described by a pair of equations:

where are the observations and are the hidden internal states of the dynamical system. These internal states stay in the so called

As we saw in Section 2.1.2, the possible dynamics of such a linear model are very restricted. The process noise may help in keeping the whole system from converging to a single point, but still the system cannot explain any interesting complex phenomena.

Linear SSMs are nevertheless used widely because they are very efficient to use and provide a good enough short-term approximation for many cases even if the true dynamics are nonlinear.

The most famous variant of linear SSMs is the *Kalman
filter* [31,41,32]. It gives a learning
algorithm for the model defined by Equation (4.12) assuming
all the parameters are Gaussian and certain independence assumptions
are met. Kalman filtering is used in several application because it
is easy to implement and efficient.