Abstract A procedure is developed which uses bond graph modeling and a digital computer to determine if semi-active control can provide a suitable performance in an application where totally active control is considered. The application areas principally addressed are those in which the disturbance inputs to the system are of zero mean, i.e. shock and vibration control. The procedure is developed through examples and then generalized to systems of high order and large complexity. The procedure consists basically of designing a control strategy suitable for totally active control and then enforcing a passivity constraint on the actuating device. Experience has shown that semi-active control approaches that of totally active control in most vibration isolation applications.