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Principles and Foundations for Fractionated Networked Cyber-Physical Systems

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Quarterly rept. 1 Apr-15 Jun 2010

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A new generation of mission-critical systems is emerging that employs distributed, dynamically reconfigurable open architectures. These systems may include a variety of devices that sense and affect their environment and the configuration of the system itself. We call such systems Networked Cyber- Physical Systems NCPS. NCPS can provide complex, situation-aware, and often critical services in applications such as distributed sensing and surveillance, crisis response, self-assembling structures or systems, networked satellite and unmanned vehicle missions, or distributed critical infrastructure monitoring and control. NCPS are of special interest to the Navy in view of the increasing need for coordination of a wide spectrum of maritime sensing and information gathering technologies, ranging from smart mobile buoys to autonomous underwater vehicles and their integration into a global network with maritime, space, and ground domains. NCPS must be reactive and maintain an overall situation, location, and time awareness that emerges from the exchange of knowledge. They must achieve system goals through local, asynchronous actions, using distributed control loops through which the environment provides essential feedback. They must deal with uncertainty and partial knowledge, and be capable of a wide spectrum of operations between autonomy and cooperation to adapt to resource constraints and disruptions in communication. General principles and tools are needed for building robust, effective NCPS. A key observation is that the current level of abstraction at which software and systems are designed is a barrier to innovation at the hardware and networking level and at the same time is not suitable to enable rapid designdeployment or distributed control of large-scale distributed software systems and in particular the flexibility, dynamically reconfigurable, mission-critical NCPS of the future.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Programming and Software
  • Cybernetics
  • Computer Systems

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