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Automated Synthesis of Cyber-Physical Systems: A Compositional Approach

Project description

Formal synthesis of embedded control software

Embedded control software plays a central role in many complex applications including autonomous transportation, power networks and aerospace. These applications are examples of cyber-physical systems (CPSs), which are becoming more ubiquitous due to rapid advances in computation, communication and memory. The EU-funded AutoCPS project will develop an innovative design process for synthesising systematically embedded control software aiming to reduce the design costs while guaranteeing its correctness. To tackle the underlying design complexity for large scale CPSs, this project advocates a divide-and-conquer strategy for the synthesis of control software. The method relies on the combination of compositional techniques from computer science and control theory.


Embedded Control software plays a critical role in many safety-critical applications. For instance, modern vehicles use interacting software and hardware components to control steering and braking. Control software forms the main core of autonomous transportation, power networks, and aerospace. These applications are examples of cyber-physical systems (CPS), where distributed software systems interact tightly with spatially distributed physical systems with complex dynamics. CPS are becoming ubiquitous due to rapid advances in computation, communication, and memory. However, the development of core control software running in these systems is still ad hoc and error-prone and much of the engineering costs today go into ensuring that control software works correctly.

In order to reduce the design costs and guaranteeing its correctness, I aim to develop an innovative design process, in which the embedded control software is synthesized from high-level correctness requirements in a push-button and formal manner. Requirements for modern CPS applications go beyond conventional properties in control theory (e.g. stability) and in computer science (e.g. protocol design). Here, I propose a compositional methodology for automated synthesis of control software by combining compositional techniques from computer science (e.g. assume-guarantee rules) with those from control theory (e.g. small-gain theorems). I will leverage decomposition and abstraction as two key tools to tackle the design complexity, by either breaking the design object into semi-independent parts or by aggregating components and eliminating unnecessary details. My project is high-risk because it requires a fundamental re-thinking of design techniques till now studied in separate disciplines. It is high-gain because a successful method for automated synthesis of control software will make it finally possible to develop complex yet reliable CPS applications while considerably reducing the engineering cost.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 1 470 800,00
80539 Muenchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 470 800,00

Beneficiaries (1)