Keynote Speakers

Marcel Verhoef

Marcel Verhoef is working as a software engineer in the Software Systems Division of the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality of the European Space Agency. He is based at ESTEC, providing support to several several space missions currently under development and he manages several R&D activities on applied formal methods to support model-based design and analysis of space systems. His current research interest include software requirements, model-based systems and software engineering, execution architectures and dependability. He is co-convenor of a space industry working group to define a handbook for fault-detection, isolation and recovery for spacecraft. He is author of two textbooks on the practical application of formal techniques in industry and has written over 25 scientific papers.


From Documents to Models : Towards Digital Continuity

Model-based techniques are slowly gaining momentum in industrial practice. The potential benefits are apparent to the early adopters and on specific steps of the development life cycle this can now also be convincingly demonstrated. MBSE is here to stay, however, current standards (such as ECSS in case of the European Space sector) are predominantly based on a document based workflow supported by reviews based on human inspection. Introduction of MBSE into this context is not simply replacing documents by models (or generating documents from models for that matter). The real promise of MBSE lies in the consistent use throughout the life cycle, creating what we call "digital continuity" making explicit connections across each development phase, across engineering disciplines, and across the supply chain, from cradle to grave. In this talk, we investigate what challenges we are facing today to achieve that vision, and what this could mean in terms of new research challenges for academia. In this context, it is interesting to look at safety and dependability, as this cross cutting concern typically brings together all these aspects.

Wednesday September 13 (joint session with IMBSA)


John McDermid

John McDermid became Professor of Software Engineering at the University of York in 1987. His research covers a broad range of issues in systems, software and safety engineering. His work has influenced industrial practice, particularly in the area of safety analysis of complex computer controlled systems, both directly and through development of standards. He has recently been studying safety of autonomy, and has also undertaken work on learning from experience of accidents and incidents. He works with government and industry, as well as academia, in a range of sectors including aviation and railways. He is author or editor of six books and has published about 400 papers. He is a Visiting Professor at Beijing Jiaotong University. He became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2002 and was awarded an OBE in 2010.


Safety of Autonomy: Challenges and Strategies

Robots and autonomous systems have been in use for some time - for example in factories and in urban railways. However there is now an unprecedented level of activity in robotics and autonomy, with applications ranging from domestic and healthcare robots to driverless cars. Whilst, in some cases, safety is being assessed thoroughly, in many situations these applications cannot effectively be addressed using standard methods. Challenges include demonstrating the safety of artificial intelligence (AI), especially learning or adaptive systems and the effectiveness of image analysis and scene understanding. At a broader level there are difficulties for standards and regulations that, in some cases, have historically sought to exclude the use of AI. The talk will discuss some of these challenges and consider solution strategies, including approaches to dynamic assessment of safety.

Thursday September 14

Radu Grosu

Radu Grosu is a full Professor, and the Head of the Institute of Computer Engineering, at the Faculty of Informatics, of the Vienna University of Technology. Grosu is also the Head of the Cyber-Physical-Systems Group within the Institute of Computer-Engineering, and a Research Professor at the Department of Computer Science, of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA. The research interests of Radu Grosu include the modeling, the analysis and the control of cyber-physical systems and of biological systems. The applications focus of Radu Grosu includes distributed automotive and avionic systems, IoT, autonomous mobility, green operating systems, mobile ad-hoc networks, cardiac-cell networks, and genetic regulatory networks. Before receiving his appointment at the Vienna University of Technology, Radu Grosu was an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he co- directed the Concurrent-Systems Laboratory and co-founded the Systems-Biology Laboratory.


CPS/IoT: Drivers of the Next IT Revolution

Looking back at the time Bill Gates was one of his brilliant students, Christos Papadimitriou a Harvard professor and world-renowned computer scientist, concluded that one of the greatest challenges of the academic community is to recognising when an IT revolution is on its way. He did not see the PC revolution coming, but his student did. Since then several others happened, such as the Internet and the Mobiles revolutions. Another imminent one is in the making: The CPS/IoT revolution.

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are spatially-distributed, time-sensitive, and multi-scale, networked embedded systems, connecting the physical world to the cyber world through sensors and actuators. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the backbone of CPS. It connects the swarm of Sensors and Actuators to the nearby Gateways through various protocols, and the Gateways to the Fog and the Cloud. The Fog resembles the human spine, providing fast and adequate response to imminent situations. The Cloud resembles the human brain, providing large storage and analytic capabilities.

Four pillars, Connectivity, Monitoring, Prediction, and Optimisation drive the CPS/IoT. The first two have been already enabled by the technological developments over the past years. The last two, are expected to radically change every aspect of our society,. The huge number of sensors to be deployed in areas such as manufacturing, transportation, energy and utilities, buildings and urban planning, health care, environment, or jointly in smart cities, will allow the collection of terabytes of information (Big-Data), which can be processed for predictive purposes. The huge number of actuators will enable the optimal control of these areas and drive market advantages.

Despite of all these optimistic predictions, a main question still lingers: Are we ready for the CPS/IoT revolution? In this talk, I will address the grand challenges that stand in our way, but also point out, the great opportunities of CPS/IoT.

Friday September 15