by Françoise Lamnabhi-Lagarrigue, Maria Domenica Di Benedetto and Erwin Schoitsch

Embedded systems - some visible, others integrated into every day equipment and devices – are becoming increasingly pervasive, and increasingly responsible for ensuring our comfort, health, services, safety and security. In combination and close interaction with the unpredictable real-world environment and humans, they become “Cyber-Physical Systems” (CPS), which act independently, co-operatively or as “systems-of-systems” composed of interconnected autonomous systems originally independently developed to fulfill dedicated tasks. Some of these systems may be older legacy systems.

by Ezio Bartocci, Oliver Hoeftberger and Radu Grosu

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are the next generation of embedded ICT systems that are becoming pervasive in every aspect of our daily life. In this article we discuss some of the theoretical and practical challenges that we are currently facing in this area.

by Maria Domenica Di Benedetto and Alessandro D’Innocenzo

In the context of the EU FP7 Network of Excellence HYCON2, DEWS, a Centre of Excellence established at the University of L’Aquila in 2002, is developing a unifying mathematical framework that takes into account the joint dynamics of physical systems, control algorithms and wireless communication protocols. In addition, the framework provides an enabling technology for Cyber-Physical System (CPS) design and implementation.

by Tarek Ahmed-Ali, Iasson Karafyllis and FrançoiseLamnabhi-Lagarrigue

Designing observers for nonlinear systems with communication constraints is a crucial challenge for Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). Small gain techniques are used to derive new kinds of robust sampled-data observers for wide classes of nonlinear systems with delayed measurements.

by Dip Goswami, Twan Basten and Samarjit Chakraborty

Correctness, implementation efficiency and good quality of control (QoC) are essential for embedded controllers in cyber-physical systems. Awareness of the implementation platform plays a key role in achieving these goals. Recent results from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Technische Universität München (TUM) report substantial improvements in the design of embedded controllers.

by Andrea Giordano, Giandomenico Spezzano and Andrea Vinci

Although Cyber-Physical System (CPS) technologies are essential for the creation of smart infrastructures, enabling the optimization and management of resources and facilities, they represent a design challenge. The Rainbow platform has been developed to facilitate the development of new CPS architectures.

by Armando Walter Colombo and Stamatis Karnouskos

The domain of industrial systems is increasingly changing as it adopts emerging Internet based concepts, technologies, tools and methodologies. The rapid advances in computational power, coupled with the benefits of the Cloud and its services, has the potential to give rise to a new generation of service-based industrial systems whose functionalities reside in-Cloud (Cyber) and on-devices and systems (Physical).

by Tomáš Bureš, Ilias Gerostathopoulos and Rima Al Ali

The functionality of smart complex networked Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) is increasingly reliant on software. Software dominates to such an extent that smart CPS can be classified as software-intensive systems [1] – systems in which software is by far the most intricate and extensive constituent. The complexity of the software is underpinned by the fact that smart CPS are inherently distributed and need to combine collaborative behaviour with autonomicity, self-awareness and self-adaptation. The DEECo framework addresses the holistic development of such systems.

by Marco Canini and Raphaël Jungers

Thanks to the introduction of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) [1], it is becoming possible, for the first time since the early days of computer networks, for operators to design and implement their own software in order to operate and customize the network to specific needs. But this comes with challenges involving many different disciplines.

by Florian Skopik and Thomas Bleier

Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, targeted and coordinated. Consequently, new paradigms are required for detecting attacks in critical cyber-physical systems, such as the smart grid. Many attack detection tasks are currently performed within individual organizations, and there is little cross-organizational security information sharing. Information sharing is a crucial step to acquiring a thorough understanding of large-scale cyber-attack situations, and is necessary to warn others against threats.

by John Fitzgerald, Peter Gorm Larsen and Marcel Verhoef

A new generation of innovative products is emerging that link computing elements – hardware and software – with physical processes. They surround us in our daily life and we are becoming dependent upon their embedded intelligence, as well as their interconnections. Successful design of these “Cyber-Physical Systems” (CPSs) requires close collaboration between all engineering disciplines involved, and rapid innovation is often required in order to meet short windows of opportunity under economically volatile circumstances. The DESTECS consortium has developed co-modelling technology to support cooperative working, and has delivered methods validated in industry case studies. These results are embodied in a new tool set that reduces the effort required to perform design iterations, and improves their impact, right from the outset of design.

by Nicolas Markey

The design of complex systems such as those used in transportation, mobile communication and home automation, raises fundamental challenges: these systems are made of heterogeneous components that interact continuously with each other (collaboratively or as adversaries) and with their environments. Available methods (such as model-based verification, quantitative model-checking, or controller synthesis) only address specific aspects of complex systems. The FP7 project “Cassting” is developing a novel approach for analysing and designing complex systems in their totality, using non-zero-sum games to model their behaviours.

by John Fitzgerald, Steve Riddle, Paolo Casoto and Klaus Kristensen

In many areas of life, from buying holidays to organising the national defence, we are coming to depend on systems that are composed of several independently owned and managed, pre-existing systems. How can we engineer such Systems of Systems (SoSs) so that they merit the trust we place in them? A consortium of European and Brazilian researchers and practitioners are developing semantically sound languages and tools for Model-based SoS Engineering, integrated with well-established systems engineering practice. Industry case studies in areas including smart homes and emergency response have driven the requirements for our methods and tools, and have provided a basis for their evaluation.

by Sandor Plosz, Markus Tauber and Pal Varga

A common communication language is the key element for interoperation of systems. Defining such a common language can be a formidable task, particularly in legacy and industrial systems. This problem is addressed within the Arrowhead project, which focuses on the automation of industrial systems with the goal of achieving energy efficiency and flexible use of energy.

by Jean-Pierre Richard and Wilfrid Perruquetti

Finite-time estimation is a way to perform real-time control and achieve specified time performance. The Inria project-team Non-A is focusing on designing such “non-asymptotic” algorithms; combining mathematics (algebra, homogeneity) with real-time applications (robotics, energy, environment, etc.).

by Daniele Fontanelli, Luca Greco and Luigi Palopoli

Two trends can be recognized in the recent development of embedded control systems: the adoption of sophisticated sensing systems (which require large and highly variable processing times) and the proliferation of control applications that are deployed on the system. The combination of the two trends has caused an obsolescence of hard real-time design techniques, which allocate computing resources based on the worst case demand of the application. There exists an effective replacement, however, that allows us to reconcile performance guarantees and efficiency in resource management.

by Christophe Ponsard, Jean-Christophe Deprez and Robert Darimont

Engineering Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) is challenging in many respects, including at the Requirements Engineering (RE) stage. In addition to generic RE techniques that already encompass the system dimension of CPS, such systems can benefit from domain knowledge related to specific requirements, such as accuracy, dependability and security. This knowledge can be structured as a reusable requirements pattern library.

by Alessio Iovine, Sabah Benamane Siad, Abdelkrim Benchaib and Gilney Damm

New connection constraints for the power network require more flexible and reliable systems, with robust solutions to cope with uncertainties and intermittence from renewable energy sources (renewables), such as photovoltaic arrays. The interconnection of such renewables with storage systems through DC links can fulfill these requirements. A “Plug and Play” approach based on the “System of Systems” philosophy using distributed and adaptive control methodologies is being developed.

by Miguel Jiménez Carrizosa, Yijing Chen, Gilney Damm, Abdelkrim Benchaib and Françoise Lamnabhi-Lagarrigue

The control of Multi-Terminal High Voltage Direct Current (MT-HVDC) networks is still an open problem. Communication within this wide-span network is a very delicate matter: the time delay and possible loss of information must be taken into account. We are aiming to develop and control a hierarchical stable structure that manages such a network.

by Christopher Edwards, Prathyush Menon and Dragan Savic

The capability of modern utility distribution networks to exchange large amounts of data offers huge advantages in terms of efficiency of operation and optimization. On the other hand, the inherent communication network component exposes the overall system to the possibility of malicious cyber-attacks. The resilient operation of such distribution networks presents challenges to control theorists and practitioners alike.

by Jonathan Simon, Marc Jentsch and Markus Eisenhauer

Public transport operators suffer from the high energy consumption of their underground stations. Lighting, ventilation and vertical transport are crucial systems for the safety and comfort of passengers, but they represent the largest part of the non-traction energy required in metros. Intelligent control of these subsystems, however, can significantly reduce their energy consumption without impacting passenger comfort or safety or requiring expensive refurbishment of existing equipment.

by Elena De Santis, Maria Domenica Di Benedetto and Giordano Pola

We present a formal framework for analysing the impact of non-nominal operating modes on the safety of next generation ATM procedures under study in the SESAR 2020 Concept of Operation. Efficient complexity reduction algorithms are also derived for applying the proposed methodology to realistic large-scale ATM systems.

by Christophe Joubert, Miguel Montesinos and Jorge Sanz

Galileo, the global navigation satellite system funded by the EU, will soon provide highly accurate and precise position measurements on Europe's roads. But the primary mode of international trade, the maritime industry - responsible for nearly 90 percent of world trade - still relies on outdated technology with limited precision capacity whilst being relatively expensive and inefficient, namely: Electronic Chart Display Information Systems (ECDIS) or paper charts in conjunction with GPS receiver and laser-based Berthing Aid Systems (BAS). Improvements in port traffic management and operational efficiency, as well as reductions in operating expenses, CO2 emissions and the environmental impact of shipping can all be achieved by providing the necessary centimetre positioning/speed accuracy based on WiMAX and PDGNSS technologies. We have developed a set of built in devices and solutions on top of existing maritime embedded devices to form a safer integrated cyber-physical system for maritime transport.

by Stamatis Karnouskos

Critical infrastructures are increasingly equipped with modern Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) and Internet-based services that enhance their functionalities and operation. However, traditional security practices fall short when it comes to addressing the multitude of security considerations, not only at individual system but also at system-of-system level. The creation of recent sophisticated tools, such as Stuxnet, Duqu, Flame, and the Mask, is the prequel to a nightmare in a CPS-dominated future.

by Antoine Chaillet, Diane Da Silva, Georgios Detorakis, Christophe Pouzat and Suhan Senova

By allowing a precise stimulation of targeted neurons through light impulses, optogenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of the brain. Its recent use in primate deep brain structures promises unprecedented data to model the mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease symptoms and to improve their treatment by electrical stimulation.

Next issue: April 2021
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