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Priority Programme Cyber-Physical Networking (CPN) (SPP 1914);
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
In September 2015 the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme Cyber-Physical Networking (CPN) (SPP 1914). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the second three-year funding period.

Vision and Goals

The increase of data rates of communication systems has been one of the main research objectives of the past decades leading to the modern information society of today. Recently, we see a rapid spread of cyber-physical applications such as smart production, smart grid, and infrastructure systems. In such systems feedback control loops are closed over the communication channel imposing real-time requirements on the communication system. Predictably low latency is generally a desirable property; however, it challenges concurring requirements for high reliability, spectral and energy efficiency of the communication system in particular in wireless communication. Classical approaches for the independent design of communication and control have clearly reached their limits.

The goal of the Priority Programme is to develop the theoretical and architectural basis for the paradigmatic change from throughput- to real-time-oriented communication for networked control systems. In order to meet the requirements of cyber-physical applications a tight (horizontal and vertical) integration of all communication, control and system components is needed to fully exploit their individual elasticity and mutual adjustment potential. Ultimately, this requires joint communication, control and systems design methodologies. The Priority Programme aims at developing system-wide concepts and theories of modelling, analysis, coordination, and optimisation of the communication system and its components for networked control systems and real-time sensitive applications. It requires a novel unified consideration of models and methods from communication networks and systems, control, and information theory.

The research within this Priority Programme is expected to cover the following areas:

1) Understanding the fundamental trade-offs between communication and control system
fundamental limits for communication latency, reliability, efficiency, and control performance including the role of feedback/side information
joint analysis methods for communication, control, and operating systems and corresponding joint optimisation metrics defining the interfaces between those systems
mathematical models and analysis of interacting communication and control system dynamics considering resource constraints

2) Design methods for horizontal/vertical coordination and control, surpassing the limitations of todays abstraction
co-design and adaptive feedback mechanisms for control and protocols over unreliable communication channels such as wireless
distributed control and communication in large-scale systems: architectures and adaptive reconfiguration
latency-aware horizontal/vertical coordination: interfaces, integration of network, operating system and applications

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