Published May 21, 2024 | Version v1
Working paper Open

Bridging Communities in Large-scale Complex and Critical Systems

  • 1. IncQuery
  • 2. ROR icon University of Thessaly
  • 3. TU Berlin
  • 4. ROR icon Oldenburger Institut für Informatik
  • 5. ROR icon Thales (France)


We are at the dawn of what promises to be a new digital age. While enormous benefits are currently being realised, the throughput of digital technologies that can act in the real world is (increasingly) limited. There is a need for more invested effort in longer-term value solutions and for supporting instruments. Particularly to enable the bridging of technology communities, with special focus on the capacity to treat safety, security and real-time properties together. These properties and their integration represent the gatekeepers for technology uptake in real-world applications. More generally, there is a need to significantly invest more in systems engineering research. It is the key ingredient for preparing our national infrastructures to be ready for using the latest technologies. If we can address these bottlenecks, we could expect to at least double the benefits provided by existing technologies for interactions with the real world.

Systems interacting with the real world continue to see increasing technology interconnectivity and distribution. This results in increasing complexity particularly because more interlinking means also the concerns of one side increasingly need to be treated by the other. Of course this is a serious challenge for technology uptake. To realise the great potential of this interconnectivity, there is a need to master how these technologies are integrated and the transitions required for use as products in the real world. We are still a long way from an optimum solution for many reasons. There are two fronts to tackle not only the mechanisms within a system product, but also a need to rethink our approaches for managing, assessing and supporting technology development, where breakthrough advances are reliant on the combination of experts with different domain backgrounds. New supporting instruments are especially required to enable translation between knowledge domains, assessing relevant research proposals and return on investment. There is also a significant need for the means to prepare the ground for such new bridging technologies in relation to product-side or market-side influencers. 

Such system products are characterised as cyber-physical systems (CPS), representing physically interactive collaborating products, formed by the aggregation of many contributions among the stakeholder communities. These include influences from the market and product-line, technical advances from functional properties, system-level functionalities, enabling technologies and of course the aggregating tools and techniques for bridging these communities. CPS represents an important part of our future, founded on much national infrastructure across many domains including manufacturing, transport, medicine and robotics. 

To support investigation into bridging among technology communities, a newly established segment of CPS workshops has taken place now three times. Their purpose is especially to encourage dialogue on the common interests and concerns between the contributing communities. As there are many contributing communities to physically interacting systems, we split the segment up into groups for a focus on backgrounds in functional properties (FORECAST), at systems level (STEADINESS) and enabler technologies like AI (ENHANCE). These groups represent the foundational background of participants, for instance in FORECAST we could have a sensing specialist bridging to another functional property domain or bridging to AI. 

This white paper reflects an overview of discussions by and among the participants, including a description of the presentations and discussions that followed.


3rd Whitepaper Discussions on Complex & Critical Systems (HiPEAC24)_v1.0.pdf

Additional details


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TRANSACT – Transform safety-critical cyber-physical systems into distributed solutions for end-users and partners 101007260
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