VHS Deliverable MG.1.2:
Management Report on Year 2)

This report documents the progress made in the project for the period 15/5/99-15/5/00. It covers adminisration, project meetings, mutual visits, and a survey of the progress in all work-packages.
It is also available as postscript file. The effort of information dissemination is described in (MG.2.2). 

Administration

The following administrative movements took place:
  1. The initiative to add the University of Uppsala as an official sub-contractor to Aalborg has been withdrawn.
  2. The process of adding ETH-Zurich (M. Morari) as a partner to the project has been completed
  3. Yassine Lakhnech, the site leader of Kiel, has been appointed as a professor at UJF-Verimag. Although he continues to supervise his students at Kiel which work for VHS, Willem-Paul de Roever has the the formal responsability for Kiel's part in the project.

Meetings and Visits.

Three project meetings were conducted during the first year as summarized in the appendix. In addition to project meetings and joint conference, numerous mutual visits among partners took place, some of which are listed in the appendix.

Progress on Work-Packages

General

As the reviewers might remember, three major conclusions were drawn after the first year of work, which was mostly dedicated to the case-studies:
  1. Timed models constitute a very useful level of abstraction for many of the case-studies and they can serve as a unifying framework for problems such as verification and scheduling, currently treated by different communities.
  2. There is a serious gap between the complexity of real physical models of plants and the state-of-the-art in verification tools for continuous and hybrid systems.
  3. There is a lot to be done in order to improve the software engineering of embedded systems in general and industrial computers in particular.
Consequently a large effort in work-packages MF, PA and TL has been put into the following topics:
  1. Comparison of different approaches to timing analysis (timed automata and Petri nets, mathematical programming, constraint solving, etc.) and development of methodologies, algorithms and data-structures to treat timing problems, inspired by the case-studies.
  2. Contribution to the state-of-the-art in verification and controller synthesis for continuous and hybrid systems.
  3. Research in methodologies and tools for design and verification of PLC programs.
In parallel the work on the case-studies continued, serving as a an inspiration source for the more general work-packages. Since we felt that our work on CS2 sufferred from the abovementioned gap between the complexity of the plant continuous dynamics and the available verification technology, we have decided to add a new case-study, CS7 which features interesting dynamic scheduling problems as well as PLC programming.
The progress in all work-packages is summarized below.

MF: The work on this package which underlies the packages PA and TL made some significant contribution among which we mention here the compositional modeling of hydrodynamic networks, works on the semantics of PLC programming languages, connection between Simulink modules and synchronous languages, compositional modeling of discrete timed systems using Petri nets, the use of timed automata to express scheduling problems and the comparison between discrete and continuous time models.

PA: A lot of impressive work has been done on this work-package. For timed systems, new data-structures and algorithms for verification and for time-optimal synthesis of controllers have been devised. For hybrid systems new decidability and reducibility results have been proved and approximation algorithms for reachability and synthesis have been developed. It is fair to say that the results obtained by the partners represent the international state-of-the-art in the domain. Several efforts aimed on compositional modeling of hybrid systems for simulation. For PLC programs, first efforts in lightweight verification (verification of certain properties of the programs themselves which do not depend on the environment) have been made.

TL: A lot of work has been invested in the improvement of the two existing timing analysis tools Uppaal and Kronos. In addition to that some new prototype tools have been developed and tested. Among them one can find d/dt for verification and synthesis of hybrid systems with linear differential inclusions, PDG for probabilistic verification, YAHMST for hybrid systems simulation, VERDICT for translating logic-controlled plant to timed automata and a real-time animator for Uppaal. In the area of PLC programming, a prototype of a static analyzer for the language IL has been implemented.

CS1: Although this case-study terminated, the partners continued to improve their related results, partly due to the forthcoming special issue of the European Journal of Control and partly due to the challenging research opportunities it created.

CS3: The part of the case-study to be treated by the consortium has been extracted from Merck and presented to the partners.

CS4: The plant description and its operation schedules have been studied by the partners and a model of the juice processing plant in the form of a piecewise-linear hybrid system has been suggested. The coordination control problem is formulated and an approach to its solution was sketched.

CS5: Feasible schedules have been extracted for this steel plant as a first application of timed automata technology to such problems. Techniques for generating efficient schedules, based on constraint logic programming and on UPPAAL modelling, have been compared. Algorithms for recursively generating optimal schedules based on modular plant models have been developed.

CS6: The plant information has been extracted from Nylstar and presented to the consortium. A hybrid analysis problem has been defined and experiments with the new verification tools developed by the consortium have started.

CS7: The plant information, both as a scheduling and programming problem have been presented. This additional case study is interesting to the project, because it is accessible and contains aspects ultimatively requiring online scheduling and closed loop control. A second report analyses this problem in depth so that the project partners can work on it in the third year.

Conclusions

The project continues to fullfill a significant part of its promises. In particular, the mutual exposure of the process engineering, control and verification communities, initiated and maintained by the project, is proving very fruitful. We hope this collaboration will gain momentum outside the project and become a more global phenomenon once the project results become widely known (see also dissemination report).

Appendix: Tables

Project Meetings

Date 
Place 
No. of Participants 
remarks 
11/99 
Grenoble 
28 
 
2/00 
Amsterdam 
26 
 
6/00 
Ascona 
27 
review 
 

Visits

Person 
Source 
Target 
Start 
End 
S. Kowalewski 
Dortmund 
KUN 
06/04/99 
15/06/99 
R. Huuck 
Kiel 
Dortmund 
26/7/99 
30/7/99 
B. Lukoschus 
Kiel 
Dortmund 
26/07/99 
30/07/99 
A. Mader 
KUN 
Dortmund 
26/07/99 
30/07/99 
P. Niebert 
Verimag 
Dortmund 
26/07/99 
30/07/99 
F. Torrisi 
ETH Zürich 
Dortmund 
26/07/99 
30/07/99 
A. Mader 
KUN 
Dortmund 
19/10/99 
23/10/99 
R. Huuck 
Kiel 
Verimag 
25/10/99 
10/11/99
B. Lukoschus 
Kiel 
Verimag 
25/10/99 
10/11/99
G. Behrmann 
BRICS 
KUN 
1/11/99 
7/11/99 
N. Bauer 
Dortmund 
VERIMAG 
3/11/99 
7/11/99 
A. Mader 
KUN 
Dortmund 
23/11/99 
27/11/99 
J.H. v. Schuppen 
CWI 
Verimag
24/01/00 
28/01/00
R. Huuck 
Kiel 
Verimag 
8/02/00 
22/02/00
T. Hune 
BRICS 
KUN 
16/02/00 
23/02/00 
P. Niebert 
VERIMAG 
CWI 
28/02/00 
29/02/00 
P. Niebert 
VERIMAG 
KUN 
1/03/00 
5/03/00 
O. Maler 
VERIMAG 
Weizmann 
14/04/00 
8/05/00 
J. Romijn 
KUN 
BRICS 
26/04/00 
25/05/00
A. Fehnker 
KUN 
BRICS 
14/05/00 
19/05/00 


page created at Tue Jun 1 14:19:51 MET DST 1999 by Peter Niebert
last modification: Thu Jun 29 15:31:58 CEST 2000