Mixed Criticality Cyber Physical Systems (EPSRC)

The concept of Cyber-Physical Systems, CPS, arose just over ten years ago and is a generalisation of the issues found in building embedded control systems. A CPS consists of a collection of computing devices communicating with one another (perhaps using wireless media) and interacting with the physical world via sensors and actuators. Such systems are everywhere, from smart buildings to medical devices to aerospace and to all kinds of automobiles. They increasing control crucial aspects of our lives. Research in CPS, and the related topics of System-of-Systems (SoS) and the Internet of Things (IoT), involves an understanding of system complexity, communication, environmental uncertainty, and the requirements of the associated software to behave in a timely fashion and to cater for faults and failures within the distributed hardware platform.

Many, indeed most, CPS can also be characterised as being Mixed-Criticalty Systems (MCS). Criticality is a designation of the level of assurance against failure needed for a system component. A MCS is one that integrates applications and/or components/systems with different levels of criticality onto the same hardware platform. This platform will, in the future, include many-core processing units, and communication media of various kinds, including wireless. It will also include smart sensors and actuators.

The Mixed Criticality Cyber Physical Systems (MCCps) project will consider how resource efficient, and hence potentially commercially successful, CPS can be specified, designed and analysed. Issues to be considered include, assumptions about the environment that cannot be held with complete certainty, failures that require reconfiguration (in a criticality-aware way), security protocols that require over-specified resource usage (to hide actual behaviour), and the allocation of software to the processing platform that balances the need for separation for safety/security and integration for efficiency. Such efficiency will lead to reduced size, weight and power consumption.

Previous work at York, including that supported by EPSRC, has explored the trade-off between separation and integration for single processor and many-core systems. In this project we expand this focus to include complete CPS platforms where resilience (e.g. fault tolerance and adaptive control), time-critical communications (including wireless), certification, tolerance of specification error (i.e. false assumptions about how the environment will behave and human users interact) and power consumption are all crucially important. The research will deliver models, forms of analysis, protocols, verification techniques including model-checking and cycle-accurate, protocol-accurate and scenario-based simulators, and industrial case-studies.


Status Current
UoY Lead Alan Burns
UoY People on Project Rob Davis, Leandro Soares Indrusiak, Iain Bate, James Harbin, David Griffin
Funded By EPSRC
Start Date 01-10-2016
End Date 30-09-2019
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