The past, present and future of cyber-physical systems: a focus on models.
Published Web Locationhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s150304837
This paper is about better engineering of cyber-physical systems (CPSs) through better models. Deterministic models have historically proven extremely useful and arguably form the kingpin of the industrial revolution and the digital and information technology revolutions. Key deterministic models that have proven successful include differential equations, synchronous digital logic and single-threaded imperative programs. Cyber-physical systems, however, combine these models in such a way that determinism is not preserved. Two projects show that deterministic CPS models with faithful physical realizations are possible and practical. The first project is PRET, which shows that the timing precision of synchronous digital logic can be practically made available at the software level of abstraction. The second project is Ptides (programming temporally-integrated distributed embedded systems), which shows that deterministic models for distributed cyber-physical systems have practical faithful realizations. These projects are existence proofs that deterministic CPS models are possible and practical.