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Paving the way for Cyber-Physical Systems

Published Oct 04, 2013

Mechatronics professors Martin Torngren and De-Jiu Chen are behind KTH’s involvement in a new EU project within the field of Cyber‐Physical Systems (CPS), which can be broadly defined as the integration of computation (the Cyber part) and physical processes. While such systems are not new, the increased networking and deployment of embedded systems provides unprecedented opportunities and enables the development of larger scale systems that integrate the physical world, embedded systems and the internet.

Martin Torngren and De-Jiu Chen.

Today’s increasing range and depth of use of CPS, and the sheer scale of the systems themselves, draws focus to a multitude of challenges that need to be resolved in order for CPS to successfully play a role in solving grand societal challenges, many of which are parallel with the goals of our research centre ICES, KTH’s Innovative Centre for Embedded Systems, also led by Martin Torngren.

Since its inception c.2006, CPS has attracted keen interest from both academic and industrial communities world-wide, with popular international conferences  and  workshops like CPSweek , and progressive jointly funded research programs, such as the NSF and Federal Highway Administration in the US, and the CPS National Program in Germany.

The main objective of CyPhERS (Cyber-Physical European Roadmap and Strategy) is to ensure Europe's competitiveness in this emerging field by developing a strategic research and innovation agenda.  This 18-month long project will systematically survey, analyze and evaluate the economic, technical, scientific and societal significance of Cyber-Physical Systems for Europe, and will derive comprehensive recommendations for action that will address how to most effectively identify, prioritize and support CPS research and collaboration initiatives, as well as tackle the issues of training, standardization and policies. Read more about CyPhERS .

Martin was also an invited speaker at the first CPS Summer School, hosted by the CNRS Research Unit MI2S (the French National Center for Scientific Research) in Grenoble in July 2013 and organised by the KTH EIT ICT Labs and the PERSYVAL-Lab. The abstract from his talk “ Integrating Viewpoints in the Development of CPS ” is given below, and if you click on the title, there is also a video available online.

“The development of CPS involves multiple stakeholders which have different viewpoints and therefore use different concepts, models and tools to deal with their concerns of interest. Successful development requires that relations between viewpoints are addressed. This lecture identifies that such relations exist at three levels: people, models and tools. We present solutions that formally and explicitly capture these relations at each of these three levels. Interrelation contracts are used to define the vocabulary, assumptions and constraints required for ensuring smooth communication between stakeholders (people level). Dependency models capture relations between product properties belonging to different viewpoints, and how such dependencies relate to predictions and decisions (model level). Tool integration models describe the relations between tools in terms of traceability, data exchange, invocation and notifications (tool level). An industrial robot case study is utilized to illustrate the challenges and solutions with respect to relations between viewpoints. We also provide a unification approach discussing how these solutions complement and can be used to support each other.”