The 2nd International Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems (WCPS 2009)

June 22, 2009    Montreal, Quebec, Canada


New (May 20, 2009): Keynote Speech by Prof. Rajkumar from CMU on "Research Challenges for Cyber-Physical Systems"

Please see the "Programs" page above for speech details. 

New (May 15, 2009): Workshop Program Posted 

Please refer to the "Programs" page above for program details. 

New (Feb 19, 2009) : NSF Travel Grant Application 

A limited number of travel grants is available for graduate students who want to attend WCPS 2009 and are authors of accepted papers. This grant is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The travle grant (max $300) is to help with their travel reimbursement for students in a US institution.  

In order to apply for the grant, the student should send an application stating your insitution, which year of graduate study, advisor, research, and why need the travel grant, together with a recommendation letter from his/her advisor. Please send the application to Prof. Shanping Ren at ren_at_iit_dot_edu. 

Call for Papers

We are currently witnessing the emergence an infrastructure for a technical, economic and social revolution that is enabled by Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). Cyber-physical systems are physical and engineered systems whose operations are integrated, monitored, and controlled by a computational core.  The integration of computational and physical processes exhibit complicated behavior that can not be analyzed by the computational or physical sciences alone. These systems also transcend traditional computer-controlled systems because of their scale, dependence on man-machine interaction and their rich communication infrastructure that is enabled by the Internet.

Some of the most challenging R&D software problems for cyber-physical systems are those associated with producing distributed, real-time, and embedded platforms and applications, and where computer processors control physical, chemical, or biological processes or devices. Examples of such systems include airplanes and air traffic control systems, automobiles, power grids, oil refineries, and patient monitoring systems. Despite advances in standards-based commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies, key challenges must be addressed before COTS software can be used to build mission-critical distributed real-time embedded (DRE) systems effectively and productively.  Furthermore, there are existing critical infrastructures that over-see the operations of everything from nuclear power plants to traffic lights and yet they may not even be able to accept static upgrades, or patches, or any dynamic instability, but they will remain with us for quite some time. Dynamically retrofitting these systems while maintaining their stability within a cyber environment is a significant challenge yet to be overcome.

The International Workshop on Cyber-Physical (WCPS2009) is an international forum for researchers to exchange information regarding advancements in the state of the art and practice of CPS, as well as to identify the emerging research topics and define the future of CPS. The technical program of WCPS2009 will consist of invited talks, paper presentations, and panel discussions.


Topics of Interest

In summary, the main topics of interest are on grand challenges, requirements, architectures, innovations and abstractions for Cyber-Physical Systems as well as technical challenges to interface and manipulate the Physical World.  In particular, we are seeking papers in, but not limited to, the following main areas:

Architecture and infrastructure

Current architectures for cyber physical systems tend to be based on layers of network, OS, and middleware that have evolved over decades in the context of general-purpose computing systems. One goal of this topic area is to seek architectural abstractions, mechanisms, and formalisms that are better suited to the needs of cyber-physical systems.  Some example topics include: approaches for refactoring the technology base to collapse/remove layers; techniques for   managing QoS properties top-to-bottom; and end-to-end in   ultra-large-scale cyber-physical systems.

Fundamental system services

Decades of experience with enterprise systems have yielded reasonably good abstractions and technologies for developing reusable services, such as transactions, discovery, naming, and event notification. There is much less consensus and experience, however, on the appropriate abstractions and technologies for fundamental system services in cyber-physical systems. Some example topics include 'multi-ility' services, such as security, reliable, and predictable replica-based fault detection and isolation frameworks that can operate in resource-constrained safety-and mission -critical CPS environments.

Service composition/synthesis

This area involves rigorous, evidence-producing composition (and composites) of system services, often using novel languages and models of computation.  Some example topics include "type systems for QoS contracts" or "checkable properties of dynamic event  structures" or "synthesis of mixed-criticality RTOS tailored for domain X". The time and scheduling, behavioral interaction, and partitioning/isolation will be central cross-cutting issues.

 Interaction and coordination

A single critical infrastructure facility can have thousands of devices, such as in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems that spread over hundreds of miles. The devices themselves are typically in a physically protected environment; yet the interactions among them, on the other hand, go through the cyber space which poses a challenge to us and calls for a paradigm that is interactions and coordination centric.


CPS research is fundamentally different from prior computer controlled research. One aspect of the difference lies in the tighter integration and co-design of the cyber and the physi-cal subsystems. In the past the stability theory in engineering concerns about the suppression of various kind of errors -- uncertainties in the model, disturbance from environment, noise in sensing and errors in actuators -- except that bugs in at the heart of the control process: the complex software that controls the plant. On the other hand, main stream software fault tolerance techniques such as primary-and-standby do not take advantage of the fact that the physical plants must obey laws of nature; This opens new insights for the integration of cyberand physical systems.

Proactive monitoring

There are numerous existing systems, such as chemical plants, oil refiners, power grids, that have been in existence and correctly functioning for many years, and until now were not considered vulnerable because these systems were not envisioned to run in the cyber environment which has become today's reality. Theses systems face the high risk of being a terrorist target though cyber invasions. On the other side, it is out of the question that we re-build or prescribe a complete upgrade of all these systems. Worse yet, it may even be too expensive to take the mentality of ``dispatch-and- then-patch''. Therefore, external, lightweight and proactive monitoring of the systems is essential in building or retrofitting CPS.

 Applications and experiences

New CPS applications and experiences, such as Tele-Physical Services, Smart Transportation, etc. We learn from our past experiences: through our encounters with real-life applications and experiences with new technologies, we develop the skill-set and tools to perform better in the future.