Speaker: Malina Software Corp. (Canada), Simula Research Laboratory (Norway), Monash University (Australia)
When: Thursday, February 7, 2019
Where: room Alan Turing, Coppito Zero (Blocco 0)
Title: Facing Uncertainty in Complex CPS Design

ABSTRACT: The unprecedented complexity of many modern-day cyber-physical systems (CPS) requires changes in how we design and develop such systems. Traditional methods were typically based on the assumption that a capable and responsible design team will identify all potential uncertainties in a proposed design and, through careful and systematic analysis, reduce or even eliminate the consequent risk prior to committing to a given design alternative. However, experience has amply demonstrated that, once a system exceeds a certain threshold of complexity, it is unrealistic to expect that even the best and most experienced design team can anticipate and accurately uncover all possible sources of uncertainty and accurately assess their consequences. For instance, due to their sheer number and complexity, it is very difficult to predict potential interference between independently defined system functions (this is sometimes referred to as the feature interaction problem). Consequently, given that we cannot hope to fully eliminate uncertainty in such systems, we must learn how to incorporate and deal with it in the design process.
To that end, it is first necessary to develop a proper understanding of uncertainty: what it is, how it is manifested, and how it can be represented. In this talk, we describe one conceptual model of uncertainty, the UTaxonomy, which was developed as part of the European H2020 “UTest” project. Although this project is focused on the problem of testing CPS in the presence of uncertainty, the conceptual model was designed to be general and is likely to be useful in other uncertainty-related research. To illustrate how such a model can be applied in practice, we briefly explain how it is being used to identify and describe uncertainties when specifying requirements.


Speaker Bio: Bran Selić is President of Malina Software Corp., a Canadian company that provides consulting services to corporate clients and government institutions worldwide. He is also Director of Advanced Technology at Zeligsoft Limited in Canada, and a Visiting Scientist at Simula Research Laboratories in Norway. In 2007, Bran retired from IBM Canada, where he was an IBM Distinguished Engineer responsible for setting the strategic direction for software development tools. Currently, he is also an adjunct professor at Monash University and the University of Sydney in Australia. With over 40 years of practical experience in designing and implementing large-scale industrial software systems, Bran has pioneered the application of model-based engineering methods and has led the definition of several international standards in that domain, including the widely used Unified Modeling Language (UML). In 2016, he was presented with a lifetime Career Award by the steering committee of the IEEE/ACM MoDELS conference in recognition of his contributions to model-driven technologies and practice.

Seminar “Facing Uncertainty in Complex Cyber-Physical System Design”

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