NSF Frontier Panel: Computation-Aware Algorithmic Design for CPSs



Ricardo Sanfelice is a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz. After academic stops at UC Santa Barbara, MIT, École de Mines de Paris, and University of Arizona, he joined the Baskin School of Engineering in 2014 where he leads the Hybrid Systems Lab at UCSC. His research focus is on automation and control for systems with nonlinear hybrid dynamics, cyber-physical systems, and feedback systems emerging in robotics, aerospace, power systems, and biology. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles in journals, conferences, and book collections, in addition to the book Hybrid Dynamical Systems published by Princeton University Press, and a U.S. Patent on robust power conversion. He is the recipient of the 2013 SIAM Control and Systems Theory Prize, the National Science Foundation CAREER award, the Air Force Young Investigator Research Award, the 2010 IEEE Control Systems Magazine Outstanding Paper Award, the 2012 STAR Higher Education Award for his contributions to STEM education, and the 2020 ACM Test-of-Time Award from the Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control Conference. Currently he is Director of the Cyber-Physical Systems Research Center, Director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute (CITRIS) Aviation Initiative, Associate Editor for Automatica, Elsevier, and has served as Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Hybrid Systems. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.


Most research in cyber-physical systems considers design of algorithms and their implementation separately. This poses a problem when dealing with cyber-physical systems with complex dynamics and uncertainty. In fact, in such cases the effectiveness of designed algorithms can be compromised by the unavoidably nonzero time needed to perform computations. The decentralization of computational resources and other requirements introduced at the implementation stage that were neglected at design will certainly negatively affect the behavior induced by the algorithm.

To properly cope with such issues, techniques for the synthesis of algorithms should incorporate information about the computations required to be performed when implemented, and, in some cases, possibly accept a degradation of performance while guaranteeing certain fundamental properties of the entire cyber-physical system, such as resilience, robustness, stability, and safety. The development of such synthesis techniques requires a radical change in the way algorithms for cyber-physical systems are designed, demanding an analysis and design framework in which, rather than being added a posteriori, computation is intrinsic in the sense that the time and cost to compute is part of the design process.

  • Panels
  • 2022
  • CPS PI Meeting 2022
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