A major engineering challenge of our era is the systematic design of systems formed from the coupling of multiple subsystems --- potentially very many --- where each subsystem may be itself be a complex system. Such engineered systems are often referred to as systems-of-systems; examples are the power grid, air traffic control, the Internet, drone swarms, financial markets, distributed robotics, and biological networks. A significant aspect in the engineering of such systems is that although it is possible to realize them physically or digitally, predicting their behavior with high confidence remains elusive, and systematic design techniques for their construction are still being sought. The reasons for this are many-fold, involving for instance information decentralization, finite capacity communication, model complexity, uncertainty, and heterogeneity. These systems have many unifying concepts and design features associated with them, and this talk will focus on analysis of coordination, communication, switching and performance. An experimental testbed will also be discussed.
Geir E. Dullerud is Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There he is also a member of the Coordinated Science Laboratory, where he is Director of the Decision and Control Laboratory. During the academic year 2005-2006 he held a visiting faculty position at Stanford University in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Earlier he was on faculty in Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo 1996- 1998, after being a Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology from 1994-1995, in the Control and Dynamical Systems Department. He has published two books: "A Course in Robust Control Theory", Texts in Applied Mathematics, Springer, 2000, and "Control of Uncertain Sampled-data Systems", Birkhauser 1996. His areas of current research interest include convex optimization in control, complex networks, cooperative robotics, stochastic simulation, and hybrid dynamical systems. In 1999 he received the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, and in 2005 the Xerox Faculty Research Award at UIUC. He is a Fellow of both IEEE and ASME.