Cyber-Physical Systems of Systems meet the Cloud

Andrea Bondavalli, University of Florence Italy
Focus Area: 

Cloud & IoT - Challenges of integration of big data and IoT using cloud as an enabler Trustworthy cloud platforms and services Data streaming and big data analytic services - processing massive data in real-time

Who stands to benefit and how : 

Many organizations using and managing CyberPhysiscal systems need to perform more and more sophisticated real time management of the collected data from sensors to guide the physical actuation of their systems and to have thri systems interacting with the surrounding environment and similar systems. Peole, citizens and orginizations who are expecting more and more sophisticatted and yet smooth and unnoticeable immersion of their appliances with the surrounding environment.

Position Paper: 

A Cyber-Physical System of Systems CPSoS that is an integration of a finite number of constituent systems (CS) which are independent and operable, and which are networked together for a period of time to achieve a certain higher goal. This compound encompasses several CPS each consisting of a cyber system, a controlled object (a physical system) and possibly of interacting humans. Data management and processing requirements in such context have high requirement that can be provided by in the Cloud, provided that some conditions can be adequately satisfied. The interaction between CPSoSes and cloud will be one of the most important drivers for the future development of information and communication technologies bringing the computing power, services and data everywhere and conversely making available information about our physical world to every interested stakeholder.

Obviously many challenges need to be addressed and will take our next years as trust; security; resiliency and dependability are highly required in several different flavours. Essential to this horizon is the possibility to master and reduce complexity of the resulting infrastructures. The ever-growing cognitive complexity of large CPSoSes is a topic of utmost concern, being a major cause for cost overruns, unreliability or outright failure.

Soundness and practical demonstration of the assumption that all subsystems share a common notion of a dependable global physical time with a specified precision was achieved in the AMADEOS project. The availability of a dependable time simplifies many temporal coordination problems and provides the backbone of the temporal infrastructure of the architecture. Based on such ground, the systematic application of the well-proven principle of Divide and Conquer allows then to master the complexity and improve the Understanding of the Behavior of a CPSoS:

  • - Partition the CPSoS along stable Relied-Upon Interfaces (RUIs) into a set of nearly autonomous Constituent Systems (CSes). The RUIs are well defined in the domains of time, and value at the syntactic and semantic level. Normal information flow among different components shall be explicitly managed, to identify potential error propagation channels.
  • - Decouple the real-time software architecture from the underlying hardware architecture to simplify software changes and hardware updates.
  • - Decouple the communication actions from the processing actions in order that the proper operation of the system in the temporal domain and value domain can be established independently.


A proper integration of CPSoS and Cloud In the last decade, the development of cloud computing has brought about a major revolution with tremendous cost reductions in the domain of non-real-time software development and execution. The main characteristic of cloud computing is the isolation of the application software from the underlying hardware infrastructure such that software components can be executed flexibly on different hardware configurations. However, temporal guarantees cannot be provided by today’s cloud computing environment.

We need to set in motion a similar revolution to the field of cyber-physical systems of systems. Our innovative model of a time-triggered virtual machine with predictable temporal properties for the execution of a Real Time SW Component provides the basis for a flexible software-hardware allocation that helps to tackle the problems of on line evolution and fault-tolerance of safety critical real-time systems. The results of research in such direction starting rom the results of AMADEOS and pushing beyond it will be of particular importance for the nascent field of fog computing, where real-time tasks are executed reliably in a generic hardware server at the edge of the cloud.

EU EUBrasilCloudFORUM is funded by the European Commission under the Cooperation Programme, Horizon 2020 grant agreement No 689495. Este projeto é resultante da 3a Chamada Coordenada BR-UE em Tecnologias da Informação e Comunicação (TIC), anunciada pelo Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (MCTI), no âmbito to acordo de subvenção Número 689495. Privacy Policy | Disclaimer Terms of use