by Erwin Schoitsch and Amund Skavhaug

The annual ERCIM/EWICS DECOS Dependable Cyber-physical Systems Workshop (formerly “Dependable Embedded Systems Workshop”) was held in Naples, Italy on 22 September 2011 in conjunction with SAFECOMP 2011. The workshop was organized by the ERCIM Dependable Embedded Systems Working Group, together with EWICS TC7 (European Workshop on Industrial Computer Systems Technical Committee 7) and the DECOS Interest Group (DIG) “Dependable Embedded Components and Systems, an IP in FP6”.

The theme of SAFECOMP 2011 was "Safety and Security of Computer-based Systems and Infrastructures: from Risk Assessment to Threat Mitigation". About 85 participants listened to interesting talks in eleven sessions and a poster session. Topics of the sessions were RAM Evaluation I and II, Complex Systems Dependability I and II, Formal Verification I, II and III, Risk and Hazard Analysis, Cybersecurity, Case Studies, Optimization Methods. Key Note speakers were:

  • Paulo Verissimo from University of Lisboa (Portugal): "Security and Dependability Risks of Critical Information Infrastructures (or why Bang! is different from Crash)"
  • Gerard J. Holzmann from Caltech and NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (USA): "Software Safety and Software Complexity"
  • Andrea Bondavalli from University of Firenze (Italy): "Model based resilience assessment of critical information infrastructures".

The last day of SAFECOMP was dedicated to two tutorials and two workshops which were held simultaneously. The full-day ERCIM/EWICS/DECOS workshop attracted 25 participants. According to its broad scope, it comprised three topics in four sessions:

  • Dependable and resilient embedded systems I and II
  • System Safety, Systems-of-Systems
  • Autonomous Systems and Robotics.

In the introductory talk, Erwin Schoitsch gave an short overview on ERCIM, EWICS and the ARTEMIS Joint Technology Initiative and Joint Undertaking, focussing on three ARTEMIS projects related to the workshop session topics: MBAT (Model-Based Analysis and Testing of Embedded Systems), SafeCer (Safety Certification of Software-Intensive Systems with Reusable Components) and R3-COP (Resilient Reasoning Robotic Co-operating Systems).

In the first two sessions, "work in progress", it was reported from several ARTEMIS projects :

  • CESAR, the largest ARTEMIS project with 55 partners and a total budget of €68 million, aims to create an ARTEMIS Reference Technology Platform for safety-critical embedded systems. CESAR was presented by Roland Mader, AVL company, Austria);
  • ACROSS (about Network on Chip (NoC), time-triggered Ethernet based), presented by Oliver Höftberger from company TTTech, Austria)
  • pShield (on SPD – Secure, Private, Dependable Power Node Embedded System), presented by Przemysław Osocha, SESM company, Italy.

These presentations were accompanied by two other talks on co-modelling and co-simulation for Dependable Embedded Systems (DESTECS project, presented by Ken Pierce, Newcastle University, UK) and “What UML based mutation testing can tell us about a system (and what not)”, by Rupert Schlick (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology).

The session "System Safety, Systems-of-Systems" was driven by industrial experience talks: "Distributed Safety Assessment for Airborne Systems", presented by Martin Waßmuth, EADS, Germany and "A System Approach for the Safety Demonstration of the Main Brake Pipe Recharge Inhibition Command" presented by Francesco Sperandio from d'Apollonia SpA, Italy (a consultant to ALSTOM Ferroviaria). Erwin Schoitsch concluded the session, highlighting the need for holistic system approaches: "What can we learn from regional disasters about holistic risk assessment? The systems-of-systems view of complex cyber-physical systems".

The third session was dedicated to the robotics field of research. Reports were given from R3-COP presented by Francesca Saglietti from The University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Her presentation, entitled "Model-based Representation of Cooperative, Autonomous Systems", demonstrated the advantage of using coloured Petri nets to model complex vision- and perception based scenarios in a compact manner. Saglietti's report is complemented by a presentation available on the SAFECOMP Web site on a R3-COP market study concerning "Trends and tendencies for embedded systems in Robotics" from Antonio Feraco, company Innova, Italy.

André Dietrich from the Magdeburg Robotic Lab at the University of Magdeburg, Germany, gave a talk on a closely related issue, entitled "Model-based decoupling of perception and processing", focussing on exploiting geometric and behaviour models for improved interaction between robots and their environment, and role-based human-machine interaction.

Two presentations were about practical applications including orientation and mapping by fingerprinting methods ("Autonomous Maintenance Robot for Location Fingerprinting Methods", Janne Merilinna, VTT Finland) and "A modular software system targeted towards embedded applications examplified by UAV usage" (presented by Amund Skavhaug (NTNU, Norway), both including nice visualization of the experimental prototypes by short videos.

The presentations led, to very lively discussions and raised a high level of interest. Overall, the workshop can be considered a success.


Please contact:
Erwin Schoitsch
ERCIM DES Working Group chair
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (AARIT)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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