Special Issue "Challenges and Directions Forward for Dealing with the Complexity of Future Smart Cyber–Physical Systems"

A special issue of Designs (ISSN 2411-9660).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Martin Törngren

Department of Machine Design, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
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Interests: Cyber–Physical Systems (CPS) and systems engineering; design methodology; model based engineering incl. model and tool interoperability; architectures of embedded and cyber–physical systems; co-design of control and embedded computer systems; system and functional safety; autonomous machines and trustworthy AI; innovation eco-systems; life-long learning and education
Guest Editor
Ms. Didem Gürdür

Department of Machine Design, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Cyber–Physical Systems; interoperability; tool integration; data analytics; data visualisations; visual analytics
Guest Editor
Dr. Elena Fersman

Ericsson Research, Ericsson AB, 16480 Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Machine Design, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: modeling and analysis of Cyber-Physical Systems; knowledge representation, knowledge management and decision support
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Harold (Bud) Lawson

Lawson Konsult AB
Website | E-Mail
Interests: complex systems; systems thinking; systems engineering; software engineering
Guest Editor
Dr. Vincent Aravantinos

Fortiss GmbH, 80805 Munich, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: autonomous systems; software architecture; cyber-physical systems engineering

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A key aspect of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) is their potential for integrating information technologies, operational technologies (in terms of embedded systems and control systems), and physical systems, to form new or improved functionalities. CPS, thus, draws upon advances in many areas. This positioning provides unprecedented opportunities for innovation, within and across existing domains. However, at the same time, it is commonly understood that we are already stretching the limits of existing methodologies.

In embarking towards CPS with such unprecedented capabilities it becomes essential to improve our understanding of CPS complexity and how we can deal with it. Complexity has many facets including complexity of the CPS itself, of the environments in which the CPS acts, and in terms of the organizations and supporting tools that develop, operate and maintain CPS.

The primary objective of this Special Issue is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to exchange their latest achievements and to identify critical issues, challenges, opportunities and future directions for how to deal with the complexity of future CPS. Contributions covering methods, tools, architectures, foundational aspects as well as organizational and other complexity-related aspects are welcomed.

Dr. Vincent Aravantinos
Ms. Didem Gürdür
Dr. Elena Fersman
Prof. Dr. Martin Törngren
Prof. Dr. Harold (Bud) Lawson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Designs is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • methodologies for dealing with complexity

  • analyzing or characterizing complexity of CPS

  • what are the key facets of the cyber- vs. the physical vs. cyber-physical complexity?

  • foundational theories for CPS engineering

  • composability approaches for CPS

  • systematic approaches for dealing with uncertainty

  • systematic approaches for dealing with interfaces and interrelations

  • dealing with trustworthiness and trade-offs (e.g. safety vs. security vs. availability vs. cost)

  • reconciling software and hardware processes and life-spans

  • smartness of CPS and complexity management, leveraging AI

  • robustness of CPS, dealing with AI and complex environments

  • cyber-physical systems of systems-ensuring proper interactions at the SoS level

  • managing organizational complexity

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Developing Self-Similar Hybrid Control Architecture Based on SGAM-Based Methodology for Distributed Microgrids
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 23 October 2018
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Abstract
Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are the complex systems that control and coordinate physical infrastructures, which may be geographically apart, via the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). One such application of CPS is smart microgrids. Microgrids comprise both power consuming and power producing
[...] Read more.
Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are the complex systems that control and coordinate physical infrastructures, which may be geographically apart, via the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). One such application of CPS is smart microgrids. Microgrids comprise both power consuming and power producing infrastructure and are capable of operating in grid connected and disconnected modes. Due to the presence of heterogeneous smart devices communicating over multiple communication protocols in a distributed environment, a system architecture is required. The objective of this paper is to approach the microgrid architecture from the software and systems’ design perspective. The architecture should be flexible to support various multiple communication protocols and is able to integrate various hardware technologies. It should also be modular and scalable to support various functionalities such as island mode operations, energy efficient operations, energy trading, predictive maintenance, etc. These requirements are the basis for designing the software architecture for the smart microgrids that should be able to manage not only electrical but all energy related systems. In this work, we propose a distributed, hybrid control architecture suited for microgrid environments, where entities are geographically distant and need to operate in a cohesive manner. The proposed system architecture supports various design philosophies such as component-based design, hierarchical composition of components, peer-to-peer design, distributed decision-making and controlling as well as plug-and-play during runtime. A unique capability of the proposed system architecture is the self-similarity of the components for the distributed microgrids. The benefit of the approach is that it supports these design philosophies at all the levels in the hierarchy in contrast to a typical centralized architectures where decisions are taken only at the global level. The proposed architecture is applied to a real system of 13 residential buildings in a low-voltage distribution network. The required implementation and deployment details for monitoring and controlling 13 residential buildings are also discussed in this work. Full article
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Open AccessArticle How to Deal with the Complexity of Future Cyber-Physical Systems?
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) integrate computation, networking and physical processes to produce products that are autonomous, intelligent, connected and collaborative. Resulting Cyber-Physical Systems of Systems (CPSoS) have unprecedented capabilities but also unprecedented corresponding technological complexity. This paper aims to improve understanding, awareness and methods
[...] Read more.
Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) integrate computation, networking and physical processes to produce products that are autonomous, intelligent, connected and collaborative. Resulting Cyber-Physical Systems of Systems (CPSoS) have unprecedented capabilities but also unprecedented corresponding technological complexity. This paper aims to improve understanding, awareness and methods to deal with the increasing complexity by calling for the establishment of new foundations, knowledge and methodologies. We describe causes and effects of complexity, both in general and specific to CPS, consider the evolution of complexity, and identify limitations of current methodologies and organizations for dealing with future CPS. The lack of a systematic treatment of uncertain complex environments and “composability”, i.e., to integrate components of a CPS without negative side effects, represent overarching limitations of existing methodologies. Dealing with future CPSoS requires: (i) increased awareness of complexity, its impact and best practices for how to deal with it, (ii) research to establish new knowledge, methods and tools for CPS engineering, and (iii) research into organizational approaches and processes to adopt new methodologies and permit efficient collaboration within and across large teams of humans supported by increasingly automated computer aided engineering systems. Full article
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Fighting CPS Complexity by Component-Based Software Development of Multi-Mode Systems
Received: 7 October 2018 / Revised: 14 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Growing software complexity is an increasing challenge for the software development of modern cyber-physical systems. A classical strategy for taming this complexity is to partition system behaviors into different operational modes specified at design time. Such a multi-mode system can change behavior by
[...] Read more.
Growing software complexity is an increasing challenge for the software development of modern cyber-physical systems. A classical strategy for taming this complexity is to partition system behaviors into different operational modes specified at design time. Such a multi-mode system can change behavior by switching between modes at run-time. A complementary approach for reducing software complexity is provided by component-based software engineering (CBSE), which reduces complexity by building systems from composable, reusable and independently developed software components. CBSE and the multi-mode approach are fundamentally conflicting in that component-based development conceptually is a bottom-up approach, whereas partitioning systems into operational modes is a top-down approach with its starting point from a system-wide perspective. In this article, we show that it is possible to combine and integrate these two fundamentally conflicting approaches. The key to simultaneously benefiting from the advantages of both approaches lies in the introduction of a hierarchical mode concept that provides a conceptual linkage between the bottom-up component-based approach and system level modes. As a result, systems including modes can be developed from reusable mode-aware components. The conceptual drawback of the approach—the need for extensive message exchange between components to coordinate mode-switches—is eliminated by an algorithm that collapses the component hierarchy and thereby eliminates the need for inter-component coordination. As this algorithm is used from the design to implementation level (“compilation”), the CBSE design flexibility can be combined with efficiently implemented mode handling, thereby providing the complexity reduction of both approaches, without inducing any additional design or run-time costs. At the more specific level, this article presents (1) a mode mapping mechanism that formally specifies the mode relation between composable multi-mode components and (2) a mode transformation technique that transforms component modes to system-wide modes to achieve efficient implementation. Full article
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