Embedded Systems Design – Scientific Challenges
and Work Directions
Professor Joseph Sifakis
Verimag & ARTIST2 NoE
2 avenue de Vignate
38610 GIERES, FRANCE
Abstract: The development of a
satisfactory Embedded Systems Design Science provides a timely challenge and
opportunity for reinvigorating Computer Science.
Embedded systems are components integrating software and hardware jointly
and specifically designed to provide given functionalities, which are often
critical. They are used in many applications areas including transport,
consumer electronics and electrical appliances, energy distribution,
manufacturing systems, etc.
Embedded systems design requires techniques taking into account
extra-functional requirements regarding optimal use of resources such as
time, memory and energy while ensuring autonomy, reactivity and robustness.
Jointly taking into account these requirements raises a grand scientific and
technical challenge: extending Computer Science with paradigms and methods
from Control Theory and Electrical Engineering. Computer Science is based on
discrete computation models not encompassing physical time and resources
which are by their nature very different from analytic models used by other
We summarize some current trends in embedded systems design and point out
some of their characteristics, such as the chasm between analytical and
computational models, and the gap between safety critical and best-effort
engineering practices. We call for a coherent scientific foundation for
embedded systems design, and we discuss a few key demands on such a
foundation: the need for encompassing several manifestations of
heterogeneity, and the need for design paradigms ensuring constructivity and
We discuss main aspects of this challenge and associated research directions
for different areas such as modeling, programming, compilers, operating
systems and networks.
Brief Biography of the Speaker:
Joseph Sifakis is a CNRS researcher and the founder of Verimag laboratory (http://www-verimag.imag.fr/),
in Grenoble, France. He holds the INRIA-Schneider endowed industrial chair
since September 1st 2008. He studied Electrical Engineering at the Technical
University of Athens and Computer Science at the University of Grenoble.
Verimag is a leading research laboratory in the area of critical embedded
systems. It developed the underlying theory and technology for the SCADE
tool, used by Airbus for the design and validation of its critical real-time
systems, and is becoming a de facto standard for aeronautics. Verimag has a
lasting and strategic collaboration with ST Microelectronics, France Telecom
R&D, and Airbus, through which numerous results on validation and testing
have been transferred.
Joseph Sifakis is recognized for his pioneering work on both theoretical and
practical aspects of Concurrent Systems Specification and Verification. He
contributed to emergence of the area of model-checking, currently the most
widely-used method for the verification of industrial applications. His
current research activities include component-based design, modeling, and
analysis of real-time systems with focus on correct-by-construction
Joseph Sifakis has broad experience with industry, notably though joint
projects with partners such as Astrium, the European Space Agency, France
Telecom, ST Microelectronics and he has also been active for many years in
Joseph Sifakis is the Scientific Coordinator of the European Network of
Excellence ARTIST2 on Embedded Systems Design. (http://www.artist-embedded.org/).
This network gathers 35 of the best European teams in the area, and aims to
produce innovative results for cost-effective design of dependable embedded
systems. It will also promote innovative methods safe and secure systems,
notably through cooperation with key European industrial partners such as
Thales, Airbus, Ericsson, Philips, and ST Microelectronics.
Joseph Sifakis is the director of the CARNOT Institute "Intelligent Software
and Systems" in Grenoble (http://www.carnot-lsi.com/).
Joseph Sifakis is a member of the editorial board of several journals,
co-founder of the International Conference on Computer Aided Verification (CAV)
and a member of the Steering Committee of the EMSOFT (Embedded Software)
conference. He is a member of Academia Europea (http://www.acadeuro.org/)
and a member of the French National Academy of Engineering (http://www.academie-technologies.fr/).
Joseph Sifakis has received with Ed Clarke and Allen Emerson for their
contribution to Model Checking, the Turing Award for 2007 (http://awards.acm.org/homepage.cfm?srt=all&awd=140).
He is also the recipient of the CNRS Silver Medal in 2001.