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Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CPSwarm (CPSwarm)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-06-30

As recognized by current academic research efforts, the two views of traditional Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are actually referring to a single problem domain, which is increasingly demanding for established design and deployment methodologies. This need is particularly pressing as CPS and Cyber-Physical Systems of Systems (CPSoS) are progressively finding applications in a number of large-scale, safety-critical domains e.g. transportation, smart cities, etc. While the increased CPS adoption has resulted in the maturation of solutions for CPS development, a single consistent science of system integration for CPS has not yet been consolidated. Therefore, CPS development remains a complex and error-prone task, often requiring a collection of separate tools. Moreover, interactions amongst CPS might lead to new behaviors and emerging properties, often with unpredictable results. Broad challenges that shall be then addressed for designing next generation cyber physical systems include: Integrating complex, heterogeneous large-scale systems, Interaction between human and systems, Dealing with uncertainty, Measuring and verifying system performance, System design.
The development of a new generation of model based development toolchains for CPS and swarm-enabled CPSoS would significantly stimulate the innovation capacity and reinforce competitiveness of Europe’s industry. Industries would then have the possibility to fully exploit the potential of the next generation CPS systems and IoT and consider new business opportunities. Bringing innovation and solving the above issues would also make further evolve the emerging scenario where people and CPS become collaborating partners in an environment aimed at forming our sustainable future.
In this context, CPSwarm project proposes a new science of system integration and tools that pave the way towards well-established, model-based and predictive engineering design methodologies and toolchains for next generation CPS systems. CPSwarm tools will ease development and integration of complex herds of heterogeneous CPS that collaborate based on local policies and that exhibit a collective behavior capable of solving complex, industrial-driven, real-world problems. More specifically, project results will be tested in real-world use cases in 3 different domains: swarms of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Rovers for safety and security purposes; swarm robotics for logistic applications and autonomous driving for freight vehicles.
During the first reporting period, the project focused on the work related to the project initiation, the requirements engineering and the specification definition processes, overall toolchain design, prototypes development, demonstration definition and development.
Overall, CPSwarm is driven by an iterative approach tailored to better bridge the gap between requirement analysis/elicitation and development activities.
The requirement engineering process has been initiated: vision scenarios and use cases were defined for the three considered application scenarios. The initial requirements (also associated to safety and security) were elicited, analysed and validated. First CPSwarm business models have been also defined.
Starting from the conceptual architecture (please, refer to the picture below), a reference architecture was designed. The solution is based on three macro components: Models Library, the CPSwarm workbench and the Deployment Toolchain. A first version of such components has been developed.
The Models Library’s aim is storing and providing reusable parts to model different aspects of the CPSoS being designed including the members, their HW characteristics and supported functionalities, swarm-enabled behaviours and the description of the relevant environment.
Within the CPSwarm workbench a first version of the CPSwarm Modeling Tool has been developed, based on Modelio solution, also focusing on the definition of the swarm composition and behaviours exploiting State Machine Notation for Control Abstraction.
The CPSwarm workbench Simulation and Optimization Environment supports initial functionalities. It will finally offer the possibility to simulate the designed CPSoS, swarm algorithms or optimize specific evolutionary algorithms for the swarm enabled CPSoS. The workbench also provides a framework able to ease and speed up the development of CPSs’ applications through model-based techniques, libraries offering specific CPS functionalities and automatic code generation.
The Deployment Toolchain includes two major components i.e. the CPSwarm Deployment Tool, supporting over-the-air deployment of generated code on target devices, and the Monitoring & Command Tool, managing the swarm mission execution.
Finally, a new component called Launcher has been defined to offer to the user a flexible access to the CPSwarm toolchain components, also promoting a proper design workflow.
First demonstrations of the 3 scenarios have been developed.
For the design of the next generation of Cyber Physical Systems, the following broad challenges shall be addressed: Integrating complex, heterogeneous large-scale systems, Interaction between human and systems, Dealing with uncertainty, Measuring and verifying system performance, System design. There are many factors impeding system-level design, such as the lack of formalized high-fidelity models for large systems, insufficient ways of measuring performance, and inadequate scientific foundations. CPSwarm aims at tackling CPS design at systems level, and at mitigating these issues by providing tools and methodologies that pave the way towards well-established, model-based and predictive engineering design methodologies and toolchains for next generation CPS systems.
Considered aspects, and innovations with respect to the state of the art are manifold and encompass, for example, modeling methods and tools, design methods and tools, deployment tools and code generation solutions.
CPSwarm will provide the following major outcomes.
* Drastically improve support to design of complex, autonomous CPS.
* Provide a selfcontained, yet extensible, library of reusable models for describing Cyber Physical Systems.
* Enabling a sensible reduction in complexity and time of the CPS development workflow by automating deployment.
* Define a complete library of swarm and evolutionary algorithms for CPS design.
* Establish reference patterns and tools for integration of CPS artefacts.
The impact of the CPSwarm design and deployment toolchain will significantly contribute to the fulfilment of the ambitious plans for Europe’s future leadership in enabling and industrial technologies. The centre of gravity of activities will consist of the development of a new generation open CPS and
swarms of CPS design platform for promoting the “smart everywhere” paradigm, which will drive the convergence of CPS and IoT infrastructures. The project will also affect wider society since complex CPSoS have a growing impact on all aspects of our lives. Prominent CPSoS examples are groups or swarms of interacting robots, UAVs, automated vehicles etc. that solve a certain problem as a team. Beside military applications there is a clear trend to use UAV or robot swarms in civil applications (e.g. forest fire control, farming, environmental monitoring, search & rescue, surveillance, packet delivery).