Visible to the public Workshop on Game Changing and Controversial Topics in Cyber-Physical Systems

Dates and Venue

The workshop took place at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) and at the Hotel Gellert, Budapest, Hungary. Workshop dates were April 15-16, 2016, right after CPSWEEK 16 in Vienna.


The first decade of CPS research has inspired convergence among disciplines in computer science and physical sciences, particularly in areas focusing on foundations for engineered systems. This convergence is driven by a broad cross-disciplinary research community engaged in developing new foundations for complex CPS enabled by emerging platforms such as Industrial Internet (II), Internet of Things (IoT), and Industrie 4.0. The ongoing cross-disciplinary synthesis unavoidably produces clashes among established views, biases, and approaches - with the potential benefit that their resolution may yield new insights.

The goal of this workshop was to identify and document game changing, but possibly controversial topics with the purpose of stimulating discussions in the research community. For example, improving scalability of verification methods by selecting the appropriate level of abstraction is an effective approach in computing. However, in modeling physical systems, the selected abstractions influence the epistemic gap between the model and the physical reality. How can we reconcile this problem in verifying CPS? What is better: loss of scalability or loss of validity?

There are many similar problems that may or may not have resolution, such as:

  • model-based and model-free approaches
  • the role of non-determinism in CPS modeling
  • modeling physical and epistemic uncertainties
  • the explicit use of time in modeling computations
  • the limits of compositionality and tradeoffs between compositionality and performance
  • impact of learning on verifiability - and many other potential topics

Discussions at the workshop focused on articulating the topics, presenting conflicting views, and assessing the importance of their resolutions. Workshop participants were asked to posit challenges, take positions - but without the intention of resolving the conflicts.


  • David Corman (NSF)
  • Edward Griffor (NIST)
  • Gabor Peceli (Technical University of Budapest)
  • Gurdip Singh (NSF)
  • Janos Sztipanovits (Vanderbilt University)