CS 637: Embedded and Cyber-Physical Systems


A cyber-physical system is a collection of interconnected computing devices interacting with the physical world. The computing devices together constitute a cyber system that regulates the behavior of the physical world. The cyber system closely monitors the physical world through sensors, computes required control laws based on the current state of the physical world, and applies the computed control law to the physical world through actuators. The sensors, the controllers, and the actuators are developed on top of an embedded platform. Thus, the cyber component of a cyber-physical system is often termed as an embedded control system

Developing an embedded control system requires the understanding of the physical world with which the system has to interact. The understanding of the physical world is captured in a faithful model that is used for synthesizing feedback control laws using control theoretic methods. Implementing the feedback control law on the embedded computing platform requires addressing the challenges of embedded computing, for example, the availability of limited resources in terms of computing power and memory, stringent timing requirements, and so on. Moreover, most cyber-physical systems are safety-critical. Thus, it is essential that the correctness of such systems is established through the use of formal verification techniques. 

The course will cover the modeling, implementation and verification issues related to developing a cyber-physical system. Through the discussion of the implementation of an embedded control system, the course will cover the basic design principles of an embedded system.


The course does not have any formal prerequisites. The students are expected to have mathematical maturity of the level of an undergraduate degree in engineering. However, some familiarity with finite state machines and ordinary differential equations, and programming experience will be helpful.

Course Contents:

Books and References:

  1. Edward A. Lee and Sanjit A. Seshia, Introduction to Embedded Systems, A Cyber-Physical Systems Approach, Second Edition, http://LeeSeshia.org, ISBN 978-1-312-42740-2, 2015.
  2. Rajeev Alur. Principles of Cyber-Physical Systems. MIT Press. 2015.
  3. K. J. Astrom and R. M. Murray. Feedback Systems: An Introduction for Scientists and Engineers. Prince- ton University Press, 2009. http://www.cds.caltech.edu/~murray/amwiki/index.php/Main_Page.
  4.  Relevant research papers.