Cyber Physical Systems

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are engineered systems comprising interacting physical and computational components. In  CPS, computation and communication are deeply embedded in and interacting with physical processes to add new capabilities and characteristics to physical systems. Software design in such system will have a very strong 'systems engineering' flavor: the software implementation of various system functions (e.g. traction control in an automobile) becomes the primary method for realizing that function. This means that software cannot be designed independently of the system, and the system cannot be design independently of the software.
In this research area we investigate how various system functions (including the integration of systems) could be realized through software and, vice versa, how the requirements imposed by the overall system impact the software design and implementation. We seek for a new foundation for CPS design, integration and operation, one that  is model-based, precise, heterogeneous and predictable. The specific systems science and engineering  topics that we cover include:

The Cyber-Physical Systems Virtual Organization


Science of Integration for CPS

Our goal is to contribute to the transformation of system integration from a high-risk, ad-hoc engineering practice into an engineering discipline that is theory-based and scales up to large, heterogeneous CPS.  Our research focuses on the following areas:
  1. Theory of composition in layered, heterogeneous systems
    Relevant projects:
    • The Science of Integration for Networked Systems
      ARO (2009-2011); PI: Yuan Xue
    • Passivity-based Architecture for Software Design of Dynamic Networked Systems
      NSF (2008-2011), PI: Xenofon Koutsoukos
    • Science of Integration for Cyber-Physical Systems
      NSF (CNS-1035655); Collaborators: General Motors, University of Maryland, University of Notre Dame and Vanderbilt University (sponsor); PI: Janos Sztipanovits (VU), Co-PI: John S. Baras (UMD), Co-PI: Panos J. Antsaklis (ND), Co-PI: Xenofon Koutsoukos (VU), Co-PI: Shige Wang (GM)
  1. Tools and methods for incremental system integration
  2. Experimental research

Resilient CPS design

Our goal is to develop science and technology for resilient systems that provide critical funcionality at all times, in spite of damage caused by accidental faults, errors, degradations and malicious intrusions. Our research addresses the following areas:
  1. System-level fault management including anomaly detection, fault source isolation, prognostics and recovery
    Relevat projects:
  2. Secure system design
    Relevant projects:
  3. High confidence design and networked embedded control systems
    Relevant projects:

Multi-model simulation frameworks for heterogeneous systems

Our goal is the development of a modeling and simulation infrastructure that allows for the evaluation and validation of complex system-of-systems comprising human organizations and decision processes, hardware and software systems, networks and physical processes and objects. Our research focuses on  model and simulation integration and addresses the following challenges:
  1. Modeling and simulation environment for Command and Control systems (Command and Control Wind Tunnel - C2WT).
    Relevant projects:
  2. Modeling and simulation  of the impact of cyber attacks in CPS
    Relevant projects:
    • Resilient Architectures for Integrated C2 in a Contested Cyber Environment
      AFRL (2009-2011) Collaborators: Georga Mason University (lead), CMU, Vanderbilt; PI: Alex Levis - GMU; Vanderbilt Co-PI: Gabor Karsai
  3. Integration of simulation and emulation platforms for component-in-the-loop experiments
    Relevant projects: