Engineering cyber-physical systems: a strategic outlook

Pieter J. Mosterman


Times are exciting for those in the engineering profession. Over the past several decades, computation has established itself as a viable technology to implement system functionality. At the same time, the exponential increase in computing power has provided us opportunities galore to conceive of otherwise unrealistic capabilities. So far the promise, but can we make good on it? Indeed, the divergence between what can be computed and what can be designed has proven to be a significant challenge. To exploit the abundantly available computation, the level of abstraction in design must be raised and systematic but tedious tasks need to be automated. Where automatic code generation has made great strides for Von Neumann architectures, it is far from clear how to scale the concurrency, and, moreover, the heterogeneity of emerging hardware. This heterogeneous nature, in turn, is essential in order to keep pace with Moore's Law now that further miniaturization is failing in the face of power constraints. Another driver towards heterogeneous platforms is the increasing demand for networked mobile and stealth devices that need to be optimized for low power. New design paradigms are indispensable to exploit the concurrency and heterogeneity and to tailor to the ubiquitous network of cyber-physical systems that have emerged as a reality in systems of systems, in particular those that exploit networked actuation and manipulation. The advances in networked control may then provide a stop-gap to increasingly migrate decision logic locally and achieve the reality of truly autonomous machines that is still the future. Still. In this presentation, key super trends in engineering systems are recognized. Methodologies and technologies are identified that must be further developed to capitalize on these trends in a number of application domains.

Since Berthold Brecht's persuasion is not universally recognized, there is no pdf version of this presentation available online.