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Server-based Real-Time Ethernet
Communication Architecture
for Cyber-Physical Systems

Cyber-Physical systems (CPS) can be defined as systems where there is a tight coupling between computational and physical elements, which often form a feedback loop and where physical processes affect the computations and vice-versa. CPS are nowadays pervasive, being present in all aspects of everyday life, such as medical devices, traffic management, industrial process control and supervision, automotive systems, energy distribution and environment protection.

The complexity of CPS has grown fast and, eventually, reached the stage in which the development methodologies traditionally used for embedded systems reveal themselves profoundly inadequate. This mismatch is such that it was recognized that only fundamentally different design paradigms would allow mastering the level of complexity currently posed by CPS.

In the sequel, Component-Based Software Engineering, which is in the base of platforms such as Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures, emerged as one of the most promising design methodologies for complex CPS. However, most of the related research effort so far has been devoted to the computational platform, and no equivalent level of development exists at the networking level. This is a serious limitation, since most of CPS are largely distributed. This project fills that gap, aiming at developing a networking framework that intrinsically and effectively supports the component-oriented design methodologies used in the development of complex CPS.