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System Design – Challenges and Work Directions

Joseph Sifakis

Recorded 20 October 2014 in Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland

Event: IC Colloquia - EPFL IC School Colloquia


Modern computing systems break with traditional systems, such as desktop computers and servers, in various ways: 1) they are instrumented in order to interact with physical environments; 2) they are interconnected to allow interaction between people and objects in entirely new modes; 3) they must be smart to ensure predictability of events and optimal use of resources. Currently, we lack theory methods and tools for building cost-effectively trustworthy systems.

In this talk, I will discuss system design as a formal and accountable process leading from requirements to correct-by-construction implementations. I will also discuss current limitations of the state of the art and advocate a coherent scientific foundation for system design by presenting a vision raising three grand challenges:

  1. linking the cyber and the physical worlds;
  2. correct component-based construction;
  3. intelligence.

I will conclude with general remarks about the nature of computing and advocate a deeper interaction and cross-fertilization with other more mature scientific disciplines.

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