Hybrid control systems: using formal verification to improve the control loop

Primary supervisor

Additional information

Contact admissions office

Other projects with the same supervisor

Funding

  • Competition Funded Project (European/UK Students Only)
This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. The funding is available to citizens of a number of European countries (including the UK). In most cases this will include all EU nationals. However full funding may not be available to all applicants and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Project description

The complexity of today's technological applications means that automated and semi-automated processes have become proportionately more complicated. With consumers demanding more from automated services, the need for safety-critical and resilient systems - that is, systems capable of preserving stability despite uncertainties and recovering from contingencies - becomes more pressing. Complex engineering systems are continually changing, highly nonlinear, and combine continuous and discrete, smooth and abrupt dynamics. Their combined dynamics can be seen as a hybrid dynamical system. The process of checking in an automated way that a system behaves correctly is called 'formal verification' in the theory of computer science; the elimination of negative behaviours falls into the field of control engineering.

But, how can we accurately test the performance of complex systems, and, if necessary, to modify their behaviour by means of a controller to meet desired specifications? This research will answer this question by applying methods beyond classical engineering procedures. It will integrate formal verification results into control schemes, which will lead to more effective designs. To this end, different disciplines will be combined, mainly, control engineering and theory, formal methods of computer science, and dynamical systems methods. Depending on the student's interests, different application domains can be explored. This research would be part of the project DYVERSE (DYnamical-driven VERification of Systems with Energy considerations).

Person specification

For information

Essential

Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • This project requires mathematical engagement and ability substantially greater than for a typical Computer Science PhD. Give evidence for appropriate competence, as relevant to the project description.
  • You must be capable of performing at a very high level.
  • You must have a self-driven interest in uncovering and solving unknown problems and be able to work hard and creatively without constant supervision.

Desirable

Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You will possess determination (which is often more important than qualifications) although you'll need a good amount of both.
  • You will have good time management.

General

Applicants will be required to address the following.

  • Discuss your final year Undergraduate project work - and if appropriate your MSc project work.
  • How well does your previous study prepare you for undertaking Postgraduate Research?
  • Comment on your transcript/predicted degree marks, outlining both strong and weak points.
  • Why do you believe you are suitable for doing Postgraduate Research?
▲ Up to the top