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Design Automation for Smart Factories

Project description

Rethinking the design foundations of high-assurance intelligent manufacturing systems

The fourth industrial revolution is upon us, as witnessed by the rapid change by which production lines have been transforming into intelligent autonomous systems. Along with many opportunities, these innovations come with several intellectual and engineering challenges that may eventually hinder their adoption. A major obstacle is the lack of rigorous and modular design methods that can efficiently navigate the design space while providing strong guarantees of correctness, safety, and dependability in the presence of uncertain or unpredictable behaviors. Addressing these challenges, the EU-funded DeFacto project will develop new modelling paradigms, scaleable algorithms, and tools that will enable high-assurance design of smart manufacturing systems and, more broadly, autonomous cyber-physical systems.


The manufacturing world is experiencing what many recognize as “the fourth industrial revolution”, characterized by production lines turning into complex cyber-physical systems (CPSs). This transformation offers unprecedented opportunities but brings a series of intellectual and engineering challenges. The DeFacto (Design Automation for Smart Factories) project aims at advancing the field of CPS design and its automation by developing novel modeling paradigms, scalable algorithms, and tools to aid the design of smart manufacturing systems, ultimately fostering their widespread adoption.

DeFacto’s methodology reasons about systems using reliable compositional abstractions of system behaviors based on assume-guarantee (A/G) contracts. An A/G contract represents the interface of a component as a pair of assumptions and guarantees. Assumptions are the behaviors that a component expects from the environment; guarantees are the behaviors the component promises in the context of the assumptions. Contracts are mathematical models that provide rigorous composition rules and mechanisms to analyze complex system behaviors, validate the design requirements, and develop system components in a modular and hierarchical way. CPSs challenge the existing notions of “modularity”, “hierarchy”, and “separation of concerns” in electronic design. DeFacto rethinks these notions to enable effective and computationally tractable compositional abstractions for industrial CPSs, by blending techniques from formal methods, simulation, and optimization for virtual prototyping and algorithmic synthesis of control software.

DeFacto is a major step for my personal growth and my career as a well-rounded, independent researcher. It allows broadening my horizons with new approaches to CPS design automation and develops the necessary skills to address major scientific and technological challenges to be faced by the European economies and societies.


Net EU contribution
€ 269 002,56
37129 Verona

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Nord-Est Veneto Verona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 269 002,56

Partners (1)