View other issues


Call for the next issue

ERCIM News No. 102 (July 2015)


Please read the guidelines below before submitting an article

The sections of ERCIM News 102 are :

  • Joint ERCIM Actions
  • Special Theme: Trustworthy Systems of Systems
  • Research and Innovation
  • Events
  • In Brief

The Special Theme and the Research and Innovation sections contain articles presenting a panorama of European research activities. The Special Theme focuses on a sector which has been selected by the editors from a short list of currently "hot" topics whereas the Research and Innovation section contains articles describing scientific activities, research results, and technical transfer endeavours in any sector of Information and Communication Science and Technology (ICST), telecommunications or applied mathematics. Submissions to the Special Theme section are subjected to an external review process coordinated by invited guest editors whereas submissions to the Research and Innovation section are checked and approved by the ERCIM News editorial board.

Special Theme:
"Trustworthy Systems of Systems"

(Safety and Cyber-Security Co-engineering)

Guest editors:

  • Poul Heegaard, NTNU, Norway
  • Erwin Schoits, AIT, Austria

In a highly interconnected world, an increasing number of interdependent, but independently operable and manageable systems, form so-called digital ecosystems or system-of-systems. This includes interacting and interdependent cyber-physical systems-of-systems (CPSoS), which is heterogeneous ICT systems, and ICT systems embedded in and controlling critical infrastructure. Such systems poses new threats and challenges: How can we trust the services in such systems-of-systems, e.g. with respect to dependability, security, safety, privacy? How to model and understand the complexity, and how should they be designed, implemented, deployed, operated and managed? How can safe, reliable and secure interoperability of trustable services be guaranteed? Can such systems be made adaptable, reconfigurable and extendable during life time? Is it possible to define appropriate Service Level Agreements and business model give incentives to collaborate to mitigate the threats and challenges?

Examples of cyber-physical systems-of-systems (CPSoS) include the smart power grid with power plants and power distribution networks and control, intelligent transport systems (rail, traffic management with V2V and V2I facilities, air traffic control systems), advanced manufacturing systems, mobile co-operating autonomous robotic systems or vehicles, health-care systems, smart buildings up to smart cities. The main reason to build systems-of-systems (SoS) are new services, and to support efficient and less failure prone system operation and management.

The impact on society as a whole is considerable, therefore CPSoS is a targeted research topic of European Research Programmes.

Topics in this issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Threats - It is a challenge to understand the new threats in trust, safety & cyber-security, resilience, robustness, sustainability, reliability, dependability. The broad set of threats must be considered a the same time, and be co-assessed, co-engineered and certified. Examples of challenges from different domains and how they are taken up are of interest here.
  • Interdomain - How can responsibilities and liabilities be managed in systems that interact with each other and other critical systems (such as power-system, healthcare, transportation, financial system), and where the services are provided by partly collaborating, party competing stakeholders?
  • Design and implementation - In what way need design, development and V&V and certification/qualification paradigms have to change?
  • Management - The systems and services must be managed through the whole life time which evolutionary processes, changes, reconfigurations and adaptations, and where complex requirements of constituent systems (multi-role, multi-multi-actor, multi-user and requirements, multi-technology) changes over time.
  • Operation - How can strongly interdependent systems be run optimally, e.g. though an SLA, without knowing the inner technical and research details of the interacting systems?
  • Standards - Current frameworks and standards, and open issues. Are there recent developments that will cover these open issues?

Articles have to be sent to the local editor for your country (see About ERCIM News) or to the central editor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Articles submitted to the special theme are subject to a review process.

Guidelines for ERCIM News articles

Style: ERCIM News is read by a large variety of people. Keeping this in mind the article should be descriptive (emphasize more the 'what' than the 'how') without too much technical detail together with an illustration, if possible.

Contributions in ERCIM News are normally presented without formulas. One can get a long way with careful phrasing, although it is not always wise to avoid formulas altogether. In cases where authors feel that the use of formulas is necessary to clarify matters, this should be done in a separate box (to be treated as an illustration). However, formulas and symbols scattered through the text must be avoided as much as possible.

Length: Keep the article short, i.e. 700-800 words.

Format: Submissions preferably in ASCII text or MS Word. Pictures/Illustrations must be submitted as separate files (not embedded in a MS Word file) in a resolution/quality suitable for printing.

Structure of the article:
The emphasis in ERCIM News is on 'NEWS'. This should be reflected in both title and lead ('teaser').

  • Title
  • Author (full name, max. two or three authors)
  • Teaser:
    a few words about the project/topic. Printed in bold face, this part is intended to raise interest (keep it short).
  • Details describing:
    what the project/product is
    which institutions are involved
    where it takes place
    why the research is being done
    when it was started/completed the aim of the project
    the techniques employed
    the orientation of the project
    future activities
    other institutes involved in this project
    co-operation with other ERCIM members in this field
  • References: For special theme articles:
    • 1 - max. 3 references are mandatory. For articles for the section "Research and Devlopment", you can give a max. of three references (not mandatory)
    • Authors should preferably refer important sources only (i.e. journal papers, books) and avoid meaningless references such as article in preparation, unpublished presentations, personnal communications, research reports, patents, or local conference publications not listed in the major scientific digital libraries (such as IEEE, ACM, Springer).
    • The selected EN style is the shortened IEEE Citation Style.
    • The references should be as concise as possible and restricted to the minimal information needed. Avoid all unnecessary words (pages x pp., year, editors, location,...). Use acronyms instead of full conference names - OOPSLA x Object-Oriented Programing Systems, abbreviations (e.g. Conf. x Conference, IEEE TPAMI x IEEE Transaction on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, etc.).
    • Use et al. when three or more names are given.
  • Useful Link(s) (URLs separated from the refrences)
  • Contact address with:
    - full name of the author
    - phone number
    - e-mail address
  • Photos, illustrations:
    ERCIM News is a full color print magazine. Each article should be accompagnied by an illustration (photos, graphics), for example of the product, applications mentioned in the article, people working on the project, etc. (avoid as much as possible flow charts and screen dumps).
    Photos should be submitted in jpg or tiff format in a resolution suitable for printing (pictures taken from the web are usually in a quality suitable for printing), graphics in a vector format (svg, eps or ps).

Publishing in ERCIM News offers several advantages:

  • ERCIM News represents an excellent opportunity to present your research to a broad audience, also outside your own research community
  • the printed edition has a circulation of about 6000 copies
  • more than 6500 readers are subscribed to the online edition
  • the online edition has excellent visibility with a Google ranking of PR8
  • ERCIM News is widely distributed in the European Commission
  • ERCIM offers a free professional proof-reading service
  • Authors can reuse their articles; the copyright of the articles remains with the authors.
  • Articles of the sections "Special Theme" and "Research and Innovation" are referenced by DBLP