Visible to the public 

Mini-Workshops / BoF / Women and Under-Represented Minorities Special Interest Networking Lunch

Program Agendas and Room Locations

(All Mini-Workshops will run concurrently from 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 14th)

I. Mini-Workshops

1. Challenges and Opportunities for Bringing Smart Services to Underserved Urban Communities

Room Location: Hickory (Upper Level)

Organizers: Umakishore Ramachandran (GA Tech) and Anish Arora (The Ohio State University)

Program Agenda:

The first hour will have 8-9 short presentations by invited speakers. The second hour will be an open discussion involving the attendees moderated by the organizers.


A special case of smart and connected communities deserves attention from the CPS community, namely, underserved urban areas. With the growing trends of urbanization, gentrification, income inequality, and cumulative deprivations, in not only inner-cities and slums but also in some suburbs of mega-cities, it is increasingly harder to afford health care, food, housing and transportation. From South LA to Chicago's South Side to Columbus' Linden to Atlanta's Westside, diverse and complex problems exist.

This workshop seeks to explore the potential and feasibility of leveraging CPS based smart community centric services as an affordable way of helping address some of these problems. Recent developments, such as apps for requesting quick Uber-based delivery of naloxone or narcan to opioid overdose victims, are leading indicators for more broadly leveraging the cyber-physical plane to connect, compute, and respond to urban underserved needs. But these communities pose unique technical challenges and opportunities for advancing the state-of-the-art in CPS, not to mention the myriad societal challenges associated with addressing the digital divide that exists between the well-served and under-served communities.

2.Title: CPS Challenges for Unmanned and Autonomous Systems

Room Location: Arbors (Lower Level)

Organizers: Gurdip Singh (Syracuse) and Janos Sztipanovits (Vanderbilt)

Program Agenda:

There will be six presentations, each of 15-minute duration. This will be followed by interactive discussion between the presenters and workshop participants.


Advances in autonomous cyber physical systems, such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and autonomous cars, along with pervasive deployment of internet-of-things (IoT) infrastructure has led to significant consumer interest. Before the capabilities of UAS and autonomous systems can be fully leveraged, there are significant challenges that the CPS research community need to tackle. This includes demonstrating desired level of safe operations by advances in sensing, controls, planning and decision-making, along with experimental tests to demonstrate their effectiveness.

Moving forward, the frontier is being pushed in two ways: On one hand, the CPS community is developing methodologies and tools for increasingly complex autonomous cyber-physical systems. On the other hand, the envisioned uses of autonomous systems are increasing which is posing new challenges. The goal of this workshop, via a set of presentation and discussions, is to identify gaps between current and envisioned CPS technologies for Unmanned and Autonomous Systems. The topics include UAS integration into National Air-Space, Modeling and Verification of autonomous systems, Safety and Security, Regulation and Policies, Risk Assessment, Unmanned Traffic Management, and Experimental testbeds.

3.Title: CPS Security & Privacy: From Theory to Practice A Decade-Long Research Plan

Room Location: Aspen (Lower Level)

Organizers: Alvaro A. Cardenas (U Texas-Dallas), Xenofon Koutsoukos (Vanderbilt)

Program Agenda:

Panel 1: CPS Security in 2017: What are the Main Roadblocks?

Major Challenges for Adopting Research Solutions.

  • Fabio Pasqualetti, University of California, Irvine
  • Sibin Mohan, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • Ryan Gerdes, Virginia Tech

Panel 2: CPS Security in 2023: What can we Achieve in 5 years?

What are the new Research Problems we Need to Address to Facilitate the Transition to

Practice of fundamental work.

  • Selcuk Uluagac (Florida International University)
  • Linda Bushnell (University of Washington)
  • John Baras (University of Maryland, College Park)

Panel 3: CPS Security in 2027 and Beyond: What is the End Goal of our Current Directions?

What is the Endgame for Current Research Proposals? And how can we facilitate their adoption?

  • Saurabh Amin (MIT)
  • Miroslav Pajic (Duke University)
  • Adam Hahn *Washington State University)
  • James Weimer (University of Pennsylvania)


As academicians it is sometimes easy and comfortable to remain in an ivory tower abstracting problems and publishing papers but without the need to see them implemented in the real world. In this workshop we will try to identify, discuss, and address the main challenges that prevents us from deploying secure and privacy-preserving cyber-physical systems.

In particular, we want to identify the main barriers for adoption, including technical, societal, and economic ones and outline a research plan that will identify the major objectives/goals for CPS security research that might be implemented in the next decade. Panelists will be asked to discuss what they see as

  • Their "end game" for their research, i.e., what do they see as their final implementation of their proposals,
  • What will it take to make this final product happen (be deployed in real systems),
  • What are the main socio-technical limitations for this research to be deployed, and
  • What are the research paths that can help address these limitations,
  • Hypothesize how CPS security will be implemented (and what won't) in 2027.

Our goal is to ask researchers to think in the long-term results of their research, identify the major blocks, and discuss solutions.

4. Title: Formal Methods in Cyber-Physical Systems: Impact and Future Directions

Room Location: Walnut (Upper Level)

Organizers: Necmiye Ozay (University of Michigan), Yasser Shoukry (University of Maryland)

Program Agenda:


Formal methods are mathematical and algorithmic techniques, originally proposed by the computer science community, to rigorously analyze software systems. In recent years the techniques originating in this area have been increasingly used to solve control problems for cyber-physical systems (CPS). Similarly, the idea of automatically synthesizing a controller that enforces the desired specifications is becoming an alternative to the verification paradigm common in the formal methods area. This workshop aims at discussing the impact of formal methods for CPS and to explore innovative new topics that can drive the future of the CPS research vision. We have identified three main technical themes for discussion: machine learning and formal methods, robustness and formal methods, and scalability in formal methods. CPS application areas where formal method has had and will have the most impact will be highlighted. The workshop will include short talks followed by a panel discussion by the speakers. Speakers and panelists are selected from academia, industry and government.

5.Title: Human-Machine Medical CPS Workshop: Engineering Human Health - Your life Depends on IT!

Room Location: Juniper (Lower Level)

Organizers: Subhashini Ganapathy (Wright), Rahul Mangharam (Pennsylvania), Jack Stankovic (UVA)

Program Agenda:

  • Medical CPS Perspectives (20mins x 3 speakers = 60mins)
  • Short Break
  • Perspectives Continued (15mins x 3 speakers = 45mins)
    • Siddhartha Sikdar (GMU) - Novel Biomechatronic Interface for Intuitive Control of Prosthetic Limbs and Exoskeletons using Wearable Ultrasound Imaging Sensors
    • Rick Gray (FDA) - Multi-scale heart modeling in the CyberCardia CPS project
    • Lucy Dunne (UMN) - Clothing as a Platform for Medical CPS: Challenges and Opportunities for Ambient CPS System
  • Open Discussion


This workshop will introduce the incredible breadth of Medical CPS including implantables, smart clothing, exoskeletons, wearable devices and in-situ systems. Key CPS aspects will be stressed including modeling, closing the loop, and humans-in-the-loop. New and interesting CPS research is required due to many factors, including but not limited to (i) human physiology, behavior and psychology are incredibly complex, (ii) the realities of patients with multiple chronic conditions, (iii) privacy policies, (iv) requiring interpretable control, advice and interventions, (iv) avoiding data deluge to health care providers, and (v) non-expert users in the loop. Overall, the workshop will focus on identifying new research challenges in Medical CPS.

6.Title: Reliable Autonomy for Human-Cyber-Physical Systems

Room Location: Poplar (Upper Level)

Organizers: Sam Burden (Washington-Seattle), Meeko Oishi (University of New Mexico), Dorsa Sadigh (Stanford), and Ufuk Topcu (UTexas-Austin)

Program Agenda:


While the vast majority of methods and tools in cyber-physical systems (CPS) have been developed for fully autonomous systems, most engineered systems operate with a human on-the-loop, if not in-the-loop. A pervasive history of incidents and accidents in aircraft flight management systems, air traffic control, automobile systems, biomedical systems and devices, and other application domains attest to the unaddressed challenges inherent in the design of human-cyber-physical systems (HCPS). Transparency, trust, situational awareness, workload, and other factors have significant influence on overall system performance when humans interact with automation.

Methods and tools for design of HCPS must account for the complexity of the human response, as well as challenges associated with accurate assessments of human state, incorporation of biometric data into the control loop, and effective communication and collaboration with the human. Interdisciplinary challenges arise in the need for modeling, simulation, and experimental validation.

This workshop seeks to envision the future of HCPS research. We aim to identify the most relevant challenges facing cyber-physical system researchers in HCPS, including problems in human-robot interaction, societal-scale infrastructure, semi-autonomous vehicles and transportation systems, and neuro or mechanical assistive devices.

7.Title: Smart Grid Resiliency and Security

Room Location: Beech (Lower Level)

Organizers: Anu Annaswamy (MIT), Rakesh Bobba (OSU), Sajal Das (MST), Alefyia Hussain (USC), Mani Govindarasu (ISU), Lalitha Sankar (ASU), Bruno Sinopoli (CMU)

Program Agenda:

  • 8:30 a.m. - Introduction
  • 8:35 a.m. - Tutorial: The Electric Grid 101
  • 8:50 a.m. - NSF CPS Energy Portfolio: An Overview
  • 9:00 a.m. - Roundtable: NAESM Report on Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System
  • 9:30 a.m. - Panel: Challenges and Directions to Achieve Grid Security and Resiliency


Is Winter Coming to the nascent Smart Grid? Can the considerable advantages of the smart grid and renewable energy be undermined by weaknesses in cybersecurity, resiliency, and system architectures, thereby jeopardizing energy security for the nation? Can disruptions from a cyber-initiated event as occurred in the Ukraine be prevented? Can outages from natural disasters as befell Puerto Rico be avoided? Can the smart grid survive a Carrington-scale solar flare?

Come to this "electrifying" mini-workshop on Smart Grid Resiliency and Security to learn more. This session opens with a short tutorial on the electric grid and a portfolio overview of NSF CPS energy investments. It also includes a roundtable discussion with authors of the National Academies of Engineering, Science, and Medicine (NAESM) report, "Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System," a comprehensive study of resilience, reliability and cyber security of our electricity system, followed by a panel discussion on future directions of smart grid CPS with experts from academia, industry, and federal science agencies.

Join our discussion on how "cyber-physical" thinking and core CPS science and technology might enhance the resilience, reliability and security of the smart grid.

8. Title: Societal Implications of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) in Smart Cities

Room Location: Birch (Lower Level)

Organizers: Christos G. Cassandras (Boston) and Ioannis Ch. Paschalidis (Boston)

Program Agenda:




A Smart City is a socio-technical ecosystem of people, technology, organizations and information which we view as a Cyber-Physical Social System. As such, the proper design and control of this ecosystem needs to bring together engineers, ecologists, economists, and social scientists providing a wealth of interdisciplinary research opportunities based on fundamental principles from control theory, game theory, and optimization among other areas. The goal is to develop mechanisms for the efficient management of sharable resources and to account for a fundamental conflict between the individual and social optima. This Workshop aims to help jumpstart an interdisciplinary discourse, identify a new generation of important problems in CPSs that consider societal impact as an important dimension of the problem solution space, and propose specific mechanisms for involving human users of CPSs in Smart Cities. The topics considered will focus on understanding human response to optimized CPSs, consumer engagement in the context of urban mobility, data-driven models of human behavior in transportation systems, CPS methodologies for connected multimodal transportation environments in smart mega cities, and learning in technological systems with humans in the loop (as in demand response programs). The Workshop will be structured to consist of two parts: first, there will be 5 presentations by leading researchers from the CPS community, followed by a panel discussion driven by questions from the audience and coordinated by the organizers.

II. Birds of a Feather:

1. Title: Towards the Internationalization of CPS

Organizer: Seta Bogosyan (NSF)

Date: Monday, November 13, 2017

Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Room: Arbors (Lower Level)


CPS R&D has been emerging as an active research area worldwide because of its potential to reshape daily life, work, and community. Researchers from different countries are already holding major events, such as CPS Weeks, the US-EU Summits, IEEE conferences, etc. to identify research opportunities and discuss mutual interests. The EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, also encourages collaborative research outside of the EU countries. We expect this international engagement in CPS R&D to grow.

The breadth of CPS offers opportunities for collaboration in many areas including agriculture, energy, environment, health, manufacturing, transportation, education and workforce development. International research collaborations, we believe, can bring new perspectives to research challenges in those areas, provide wider access to data, test facilities, and even living testbeds, resulting in a greater impact to research, and a deeper appreciation of cultural diversity that strengthen research, development, and national ties.

In this "Birds of a Feather" evening session, we will explore whether there is interest within the NSF CPS community for greater international engagement, meet NSF PIs already part of an international project, learn about NSF/OISE's international programs, discuss goals for potential international CPS collaborations, and plan a first step towards a larger discussion at CPS Week. We will take a broad view of CPS from its theoretical foundations to advanced technology demonstrations and policies driving innovation and adoption.

2. Title: CPS VO 2: Active Resources

Organizer: Janos Sztipanovits (Vanderbilt)

Date: Monday, November 13, 2017

Time: 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Room: Birch (Lower Level)


III. Networking Lunch

Title: Women and Under-Represented Minorities Special Interest Networking Lunch

Organizers: Lillian Ratliff (Washington) and Sylvia Spengler (NSF)

Date: Monday, November 13, 2017

Time: 12:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Room: Arbors (Lower Level)

Lunch Format:

Tables of 10 attendees will have an opportunity to brainstorm and discuss how to increase the involvement of women and under-represented minorities in CPS. Towards the end of the lunch, one designate from each table will report on the discussion.