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This paper is a comprehensive research review on the learner control strategies in software tutoring systems. With the application of more computer techniques in education and the involvement of more adults in software tutoring systems, the learner control strategy has become more appreciated than tutor control or program control. In this paper, the efficiency and necessity of learner control in software tutoring systems is discussed through the description of learning mechanism. Some typical applications of learner control strategies in software tutoring systems are presented. The available learner control strategies are classified from two perspectives: educational theory, and software mechanism. Finally, a set of open problems related with learner control strategies are raised and the possible solutions are proposed correspondingly.