For the numerical simulation of a mechanical multibody system (MBS), dynamical loads are needed as input data, such as a road profile. With given input quantities, the equations of motion of the system can be integrated. Output quantities for further investigations are calculated from the integration results. In this paper, we consider the corresponding inverse problem: We assume, that a dynamical system and some reference output signals are given. The general task is to derive an input signal, such that the system simulation produces the desired reference output. We present the state-of-the-art method in industrial applications, the iterative learning control method (ILC) and give an application example from automotive industry. Then, we discuss three alternative methods based on optimal control theory for differential algebraic equations (DAEs) and give an overview of their general scheme.