Mastering Complexity at ICT.Open

This week saw another edition of NWO ICT.OPEN, a yearly event that brings scientists from all ICT research disciplines and industries together to learn, share ideas, and network.

My colleague Rosilde Corvino and I from TNO-ESI chaired the Mastering Complexity for Cyber-Physical Systems track. This track was kicked off with a keynote about software architecture for strategic advantage, given by Erik Schepers, Chief Software Architect at Thales. Two presentations followed about using large language models to manage software legacy and task-oriented programming for the Internet of Things, respectively. Approximately 30 participants attended the track, highlighting its relevance and the keen interest in cyber-physical systems. The event also saw a few projects from ESI’s Mastering Complexity (MasCot) academic program, DSE2.0 and Software Restructuring, being present with posters.

Lastly, the poster “Models for Legacy Software Systems,” authored by ESI colleagues Joe Reynolds, Nan Yang, Rosilde Corvino, Anca-Maria Lichiardopol, and Joost van Zwam, won the best poster award at the ICT.Open conference. The work has been prized for its innovation, applicability, and clarity of presentation. Congratulations to the team for this achievement, and kudos to Joe Reynolds for his outstanding presentation, demo, and poster explanation.

Next Tuesday, it is time for the next event, the crown jewel of ESI, the ESI Symposium 2024. It is still possible to register for free. I hope to see you there!

Mastering Complexity at ICT Open 2024

TNO-ESI is hosting a Mastering Complexity for Cyber-Physical Systems track at ICT Open 2024. The event will take place in Utrecht on April 10-11. My colleague Rosilde Corvino will be the track chair of this event, together with myself. Submit an abstract, poster, or demo now and share with the community how your work addresses the challenge of increasing complexity in cyber-physical systems. Contributions in areas including system architecting, system dependability, system evolvability, systems of systems, and system performance are welcome.

Call for abstracts, posters, and demos:

Submission link:

Call for Papers and Experts – 30th IEEE Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (RTAS 2024) in Hong Kong

I have the honor of being the Program Chair of the 30th IEEE Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (RTAS 2024), located in Hong Kong May 13-16 next year. Please see the Call for Papers below.

Soon, it will be time to put together the Technical Program Committee (TPC) that will review and select the papers that will appear in the conference program. If you are interested in joining the TPC of this conference, or any other conference (co-)sponsored by the Technical Community of Real-Time Systems (TCRTS), please fill out the TPC self-nomination form as soon as possible. We always welcome self-nominations from our own community, but this year we especially encourage self-nominations from the academic performance engineering community, as well as members of the industry that work with real-time requirements or performance engineering, defined in a broad sense.

If you have any questions, please feel to reach out to me. If want to self-nominate, click this link. A self-nomination is not a firm commitment, it is just a declaration of interest that may result in an invitation.


30th IEEE Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (RTAS 2024)

Hong Kong, May 13-16, 2024




RTAS is a top-tier conference with a focus on time-sensitive systems. RTAS’24 invites papers describing case studies, applications, methodologies, and algorithms that contribute to the state of practice in design, implementation, verification, validation, and evolution of time-sensitive systems. RTAS’24 consists of two tracks:

  • Track 1. Systems and Applications;
  • Track 2. Applied Methodologies and Foundations.

In both tracks, papers must consider some kind of timing requirements. The timing requirements of interest are broadly defined and include not only classical hard real-time constraints, but also soft real-time, probabilistic, quality-of-service (QoS), throughput or latency requirements. The application area can be any type of time-sensitive systems, ranging from resource-constrained embedded systems to cyber-physical systems (CPS), cloud/edge/fog computing systems, cloud data centers, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile computing, robotics,  smart grid, and smart cities, as well as middleware and frameworks, machine learning in or for time-sensitive systems and signal processing algorithms that execute in real time. RTAS welcomes both papers backed by formal proofs, as well as papers that focus exclusively on empirical validation of timing requirements, e.g., using traces or performance models inferred from operational data. Research results from fundamental research, (case-driven) applied research, and (pragmatic) industry practice are all in scope.

RTAS’24 follows a double-anonymous peer reviewing process: author identities and affiliations will not be revealed to reviewers. Authors will have the opportunity to provide a response to reviews before acceptance decisions are made, solely to provide clarifications and correct misconceptions. The response will not allow authors to introduce new material beyond the original submission, or promise such material for the camera-ready version. There will be an optional evaluation process for accepted papers that assesses the reproducibility of the work.

Track 1: Systems and Applications

This track focuses on research of an empirical nature pertaining to (system- or component-) level analysis, optimization, and verification, as well as applications, runtime software, and hardware architectures for time-sensitive systems.

Topics relevant to this track include, but are not limited to:

  • time-sensitive applications
  • real-time and embedded operating systems,
  • hypervisors and runtime frameworks,
  • hardware architectures, memory hierarchies, FPGAs, GPUs and accelerators,
  • time-sensitive networks, CPS/IoT infrastructure,
  • microservice technologies, cloud and edge computing, real-time artificial intelligence and machine learning,
  • application profiling, WCET analysis, compilers, tools, benchmarks and case studies.

Papers discussing design and implementation experiences on real industrial systems are especially encouraged. Papers submitted to this track should focus on specific systems and implementations. Authors must include a section with experimental results performed on a real implementation, or demonstrate applicability to an industrial case study or working system. The experiment or case study discussions must highlight the key lessons learned. Simulation-based results are acceptable for architectural simulation, or other cases where authors clearly motivate why it is not feasible to develop and evaluate a real system.

Empirical survey-based research focused on the real-time systems field is also welcome in this track. This type of research uses surveys, questionnaires, interviews, use cases or other empirical techniques to obtain information about the past / current / future state of play in the research, design, development, verification, validation, and deployment of time-sensitive systems.

Track 2: Applied Methodologies and Foundations

This track focuses on fundamental models, and analysis techniques/methods that are applicable to time-sensitive systems to solve specific problems. The track welcomes knowledge-based models, models built from operational data, as well as a combination, and different types of analysis methods, including analytical, statistical, or probabilistic methods. Topics relevant to this track include, but are not limited to:

  • modelling languages, modelling methods, model learning, model validation and calibration,
  • scheduling and resource allocation,
  • system-level optimization and co-design techniques,
  • design space exploration,
  • verification and validation methodologies.

Papers must describe the main context or use case for the proposed methods giving clear motivating examples based on real systems. The system models and any assumptions used in the derivation of the methods must be applicable to real systems, and reflect actual needs. Papers must include a section on experimental results, preferably including a case study based on information from a real system. The use of synthetic workloads and models is acceptable if appropriately motivated and used to provide a systematic evaluation.

Important Dates

Submission Deadline (firm): October 31, 2023
Author Response Period: January 8-12, 2024
Author Notification: January 19, 2024
Conference Date: May 13-16, 2024


RTSS@Work 2022 Proceedings Online

I have had the honor to serve as the chair of RTSS@Work 2022, the open demo session organized as a part of the 43rd IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium, held in Houston, Texas on December 6, 2022. The goal of RTSS@Work is to provide a platform for researchers to present prototypes, tools, simulators, and systems, which extend the state-of-the-art in Real-Time Technologies and Techniques. It augments the traditional forum by enabling presenters to demonstrate working systems, thereby allowing them to directly engage with the audience, generate interest in new research topics, and encourage wider adoption of common frameworks.

This year’s RTSS@Work was very special, as it was the first physical instance after years of virtual events due to the COVID pandemic. It was nice to meet each other again and to physically demonstrate and discuss the work we have done. While the COVID pandemic reduced the number of submissions in previous years, I am happy to announce that we had nine demo submissions this year, on par with the pre-pandemic era. The program committee, comprising seven researchers, selected eight demos to appear in the session. I would like to thank the program committee for accepting my invitation and for spending their time reviewing and selecting the demo abstracts. I would also like to thank the authors for submitting to RTSS@Work, for delivering the camera-ready abstracts on time, and for demonstrating their work at the conference.

The proceedings of RTSS@Work 2022 are now available online.

Mastering Complexity – Academia, Industry and TNO working intimately together

The 3rd Annual Program Day for the Mastering Complexity (MasCot) Partnership program took place on Wednesday October 19. This time, the event was hosted by the University of Amsterdam and was held in the Startup Village at Science Park. Approximately 40 participants from academia, industry, NWO, and TNO attended the event. After a brief introduction, project updates were given from the four academic projects in the program:

  1. Scheduling Adaptive Modular Flexible Manufacturing Systems (SAM-FMS)
  2. Programming and Validating Software Restructurings
  3. TiCToC – Testing in Times of Continuous Change
  4. Design Space Exploration 2.0: Towards Optimal Design of Complex, Distributed Cyber Physical Systems

This was followed by Q&A and a short interaction where participants tried to identify the general complexity management techniques used in the projects. In the afternoon, there were breakout sessions focusing on the way-of-working in MasCot projects, how to best involve and engage all stakeholders in the project: industry and academic partners, users, and ESI liaisons. This allowed the different projects to listen to how the others organized their work, e.g. in terms of regular meetings and working on industry location, during the first years and reflect on the best way-of-working to reach their goals for the next stage.

The event was followed by a social program with informal networking set to the tune of a boat ride with drinks on the beautiful canals of a sunny autumn-colored Amsterdam and a dinner at the restaurant In de Waag.

Serving the Real-time Systems Community

I have been a part of the academic real-time systems community for many years by serving on the technical program committee of many key conferences, as well as reviewing articles for the real-time systems journal. This year, I am serving the real-time systems community in the following four ways.

I look forward to working with and serving the community in these roles.

5th Workshop on Compositional Theory and Technology for Real-Time Embedded Systems

I have been appointed program co-chair of the on 5th Workshop Compositional Theory and Technology for Real-Time Embedded Systems (CRTS 2012) together with Bjorn Andersson from the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, USA. The workshop is co-located with the Real-Time Systems Symposium (RTSS) in Puerto Rico and takes place on December 4th, 2012. The goal of the workshop is to reduce the increasing design and analysis cost of real-time embedded systems by proposing solutions based on compositional platforms and methodologies. These enable decomposition of a complex systems into components that can be designed and analyzed in isolation and then integrated using interfaces with clearly defined temporal and functional properties. We gladly invite you to submit contributions to the workshop or to participate during your stay at RTSS.

Click here to visit the workshop website.