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by Francoise Lamnabhi-Lagarrigue

A joint workshop of the BALCON project (The Gateway to ICT Monitoring & Control Research in the Western Balkans) and HYCON2 network of excellence (Highly-complex and networked control systems), held on 2-3 July 2013 in Belgrade, highlighted recent research efforts and challenges in cyber-physical systems (CPS).

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“Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are physical, biological and engineered systems whose operations are monitored, coordinated, controlled and integrated by a computing and communication core”. This definition was adopted at the Workshop on Control of Cyber-Physical Systems held at the University of Notre Dame London Centre, 20-21 October 2012, organized by Panos Antsaklis, Vijay Gupta and Karl Henrik Johansson [1] Desired characteristics of well-designed and engineered CPS include: coordinated, distributed, connected, heterogeneous, robust and responsive, providing new capability, adaptability, resilience, safety, security, and usability.

This intimate coupling between the cyber and physical will be manifested across a broad range of length scales, from the nano-world to large-scale wide-area systems of systems. Correspondingly, CPS will often exhibit dynamics at a wide range of time-scales from the discrete clock scale for some computational aspects, to multi-day or even year-long time scales for system-wide properties and evolution. Applications with enormous societal impact and economic benefit will be created and cyber-physical systems will transform how we interact with the physical world just as the Internet transformed how we interact with one another.

Control is a major CPS challenge, inherent in many, if not most, cyber-physical systems since it exists at the intersection of the cyber and physical components, making use of each and mediating their interaction. Very difficult challenges are posed for control of CPS, however, due to a variety of factors such as very broad time and length scales, the presence of network communication and delays, coordination of many components (with an associated increased risk of component failure as the number of components grows to be very large), model reduction, tractability, etc.

In order to highlight recent research efforts and bring together European and West Balkans researchers to share results and discuss the major research challenges in CPS, a joint workshop of the BALCON and HYCON2 projects was organized on 2-3 July 2013 in Belgrade. The main topics included:

  • Taming system complexity and big data: control hierarchies and tropical algebras; mining from the medical databases; mining from the sensor networks; integrated model-based support for the design of complex controlled systems.
  • Stability and estimation tools: adversary control strategy for cyber-physical networked systems; advances in the stability analysis of interconnected nonlinear systems by ISS-related concepts; robustness of stochastic discrete-time switched linear systems with application to control with shared resources; global exponential sampled-data observers for nonlinear systems with delayed measurements; non-asymptotic estimation for online systems: finite-time algorithms and applications.
  • Control under strong communication constraints: robust self-triggered coordinated control; wireless control networks and controllability with switched delays; fault tolerant control of multi-hop control networks; passification based control, estimation and synchronization in CPS.
  • Large-scale systems: a critical bisimulation approach to safety analysis of large scale complex systems; a Markov decision framework for online learning in residential demand response; adaptive scheduling in LTE networks for SmartGrid applications; plug-and-play control for complex, real-life large-scale systems.
  • Embedded systems: soft real–time scheduling for embedded control systems; real-time operating systems for eHealth wearable devices; a motion planner for mobile vehicles on rough terrains.

BALCON Project:
HYCON2 Network of Exellence:
Workshop presentations:

[1]: Report from the Workshop on Control of Cyber-Physical Systems, London, 20-21 October 2012,

Please contact:
Francoise Lamnabhi-Lagarrigue
CNRS, Laboratoire des Signaux et Systemes & European Embedded
Control Institute (EECI), SUPELEC, France
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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