15-424: Foundations of Cyber-Physical Systems

15-424 Foundations of Cyber-Physical Systems
15-624 Foundations of Cyber-Physical Systems
15-824 Foundations of Cyber-Physical Systems
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Cyber-physical systems (CPSs) combine cyber capabilities (computation and/or communication) with physical capabilities (motion or other physical processes). Cars, aircraft, and robots are prime examples, because they move physically in space in a way that is determined by discrete computerized control algorithms. Designing these algorithms to control CPSs is challenging due to their tight coupling with physical behavior. At the same time, it is vital that these algorithms be correct, since we rely on CPSs for safety-critical tasks like keeping aircraft from colliding. In this course we will strive to answer the fundamental question posed by Jeannette Wing:
"How can we provide people with cyber-physical systems they can bet their lives on?"

Students who successfully complete this course will:

  • Understand the core principles behind CPSs.
  • Develop models and controls.
  • Identify safety specifications and critical properties of CPSs.
  • Understand abstraction and system architectures.
  • Learn how to design by invariant.
  • Reason rigorously about CPS models.
  • Verify CPS models of appropriate scale.
  • Understand the semantics of a CPS model.
  • Develop an intuition for operational effects.

The cornerstone of our course design are hybrid programs (HPs), which capture relevant dynamical aspects of CPSs in a simple programming language with a simple semantics. One important aspect of HPs is that they directly allow the programmer to refer to real-valued variables representing real quantities and specify their dynamics as part of the HP.

This course will give you the required skills to formally analyze the CPSs that are all around us -- from power plants to pace makers and everything in between -- so that when you contribute to the design of a CPS, you are able to understand important safety-critical aspects and feel confident designing and analyzing system models. It will provide an excellent foundation for students who seek industry positions and for students interested in pursuing research.

The course expects basic familiarity with programming and any mathematics course. This course covers the basic required mathematical and logical background of cyber-physical systems. You will be expected to follow extra background reading material, which we will provide, as needed.
See course instances for precise prerequisites.
  1. André Platzer.
    Logical Foundations of Cyber-Physical Systems.
    Springer, 2018. 639 pages. ISBN 978-3-319-63587-3.
    [bib | book | web | abstract]