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Cyber Physical Systems Research Challenges
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Li, Z., Huang, C., Dong, X., & Ren, C.
(2020). Resource-Efficient Cyber-Physical
In recent years, Cyber-Physical Systems
(CPSs), which combine physical and computer
components, have grown in popularity. CPSs are
commonly employed in complicated applications like
smart power grids, transportation systems, and
economic structure since they are difficult problems
in and of themselves. Due to the widespread use of
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Systems Design: A Survey. Microprocessors and
103183. doi:10.1016/j.micpro.2020.103183
CPSs in applications, security is a significant and
demanding component that requires
consideration throughout CPS design. CPS are
changing the way we interact with the physical
environment. This revolution, of course, is not free
[1]. Because even old embedded systems must meet
higher standards than general-purpose computers, we
must pay close attention to the physical-aware designed
system needs of the next generation if we are to fully
trust them.
2.1 Real-time system abstraction
Because of the large number of sensors and
actuators, as well as computers that interchange
various forms of data, developing a new framework
that allows us to abstract the salient aspects of
systems in real time is crucial. The network topology
of CPS, for example, may vary dynamically as a
result of physical conditions [2]. As a result, there is
a need for research into novel distributed real-time
computing and communication mechanisms that can
accurately reflect the important interactions among
CPS elements and, in turn, provide the requisite level
of performance, such as safety, security, resilience,
and dependability.
safety are crucial in CPS. To this aim, the inherent
character of CPS can be exploited by utilising the
physical information about the system's location and
2.3 Hybrid system modelling and control
The primary distinction between physical
and cyberspace is that the former evolves in real
time, whilst the latter changes in response to discrete
logic. As a result, for CPS design, a rigorous hybrid
system modelling and control mechanism that
integrates both the physical and cyber aspects is
required [4]. For example, to close the feedback
control loop, a new theoretical framework is required
that can combine continuous-time systems with
event-triggered logical systems. Both temporal scales
(from microseconds to months or years) and
dimensional orders (from on-chip to possibly
planetary scale) should be carefully considered in this
framework [5].
2.2 Robustness, safety, and security
2.4 Control over networks
Unlike logical computing in cyber systems,
interactions with the physical world are inevitably
fraught with uncertainty due to issues like as
unpredictability in the environment, mistakes in
physical devices, and potential security threats [3].
As a result, overall system robustness, security, and
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Time-driven and event-driven computing,
time-varying delays, transmission failures, and
system reconfiguration are all obstacles in the design
and implementation of networked control in CPS [6].
The following challenges face CPS researchers when
designing network protocols: ensuring missioncritical quality-of-service over wireless networks,
balancing control law design and real-time
computation constraints, bridging the gap between
continuous and discrete time systems, and ensuring
the reliability and robustness of large-scale systems.
2.5 Sensor-actuator networks
For more than a decade, wireless sensor
networks have been widely researched. Nonetheless,
wireless sensor-actuator networks (WSAN) are a new
field that hasn't received enough attention,
particularly from the perspective of CPS. In the
design of sensor-actuator networks, the interaction
between sensors, actuators, physical systems, and
computing elements should be carefully considered
[8]. Physical details and effects of actuators on the
whole system, in particular, have not been adequately
considered in system design thus far.
Co-designing control and scheduling is a
well-studied topic in the real-time and embedded
systems community. However, with the introduction
of CPS, co-design issues are being reassessed in a
number of ways. Because CPS are often networked
control systems, the impact of network delay on
system stability has lately been investigated in terms
of the trade-off between system stability and realtime schedulability. This research yielded a nonperiodic control strategy that can ensure overall
system stability while using the least amount of
computer resources possible [11].
2.8 Computational abstraction
Programming abstractions should represent
physical qualities such as physics and chemistry
laws, safety, real-time and power restrictions,
resources, resilience, and security in a compostable
2.6 Verification and validation
2.9 Architecture
To ensure that the overall CPS requirements
are met, hardware and software components,
operating systems, and middleware must go through
comprehensive compositional verification and
testing. CPS, in particular, must go above existing
cyber infrastructure in terms of reliability. For
instance, it is well known in the aviation industry that
the certification process consumes more than half of
the resources required to build new systems [9].
Overdesign is the most well-known process for
developing safe system certification in this industry.
However, with today's large-scale complex systems,
merely using the overdesign technique is becoming
intractable. As a result, we need new models,
methods, and tools that can include compositional
verification and validation of software and other parts
throughout the design stage [10].
At the meta-level, CPS architectures must be
consistent and capture a wide range of physical data.
For large-scale CPS, new network protocols will be
required. The concept of being "globally virtual,
locally physical" can be used to develop a new
paradigm [12].
The table below summarises the CPS
applications in terms of their functionality.
2.7 Control and scheduling co-design.
Type of Domain
Smart Manufacturing
Optimizing productivity in the manufacturing of goods or the delivery of
services at a medium scale.
Emergency Response
Medium/Large Scale: dealing with risks to public safety as well as
protecting the environment and critical infrastructure.
Air Transportation
Operation and traffic management of aviation systems on a large scale.
Critical Infrastructure
Distribution of basic necessities such as water, electricity, gas, and oil on
a large scale.
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Health Care and Medicine
On a medium scale, patients' health problems are monitored and relevant
steps are taken.
Intelligent Transportation
On a medium/large scale, real-time data exchange improves traffic
safety, coordination, and services.
Robotic for Service
Human welfare services on a small/medium scale.
Thus CPS development is no longer a
resource optimization challenge, but rather a matter
of general design and implementation. The embedded
platform (cyber space) and the controllers (physical
space) are built separately and then integrated in the
traditional design paradigm. Despite efforts to
improve resource efficiency for CPS, there are still a
number of issues to be resolved [13]
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