Enable scalable, dependable design methods and reproducible performance measurement for effective and trustworthy (reliable, safe, secure, resilient and privacy-enhancing) cyber-physical systems and IoT, by means of new measurement science, advanced testing and assurance capabilities and a community-driven perspective, by 2020.
What is the problem?
Measurement science is lacking to support conceptualization, realization and assurance of composable, scalable, and interconnected CPS systems in and across multiple “smart” domains, including in complex smart cities environments. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology has identified cyber-physical systems as a national priority for federal R&D, and OSTP guidance is that “Agencies should also prioritize investments in enabling technologies that benefit multiple sectors of the economy, such as … cyber-physical systems and their application to smart cities.” Deployment of next-generation CPS across the transportation, energy and health sectors alone could boost U.S. productivity growth by as much as 1.5 percent, and many projections for worldwide IoT market size reach tens of trillions of dollars per year by 2025. However, to reach this potential economic impact, issues of scalability, composability, modularity and interoperability in next-generation CPS and IoT will need to be addressed. For example, the McKinsey report “The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value beyond the Hype” identified the importance of interoperability between IoT systems as required for 40% of potential value. The design and engineering of a cyber-physical system, from initial concept through successful operation, requires a new systems science and engineering approach. Advanced cyber-physical systems can be so complex that existing approaches for performance prediction, measurement, management and assurance are
inadequate. And much current CPS work is done in isolation, focused on solutions limited to a single domain such as health care or manufacturing, with limited cooperation across the commercial, academic and government sectors.
What is the technical idea?
The key technical ideas can be summarized as follows.
- The first measurement science problem is the need for a consensus-based CPS Framework and methodology for developing, understanding and deploying engineered systems addressing the full range of CPS use cases, including integration across a broad range of disciplines and domains. The research plan provides for continued development and refinement of the CPS Framework and its concepts (e.g. trustworthiness, human interactions, and assurance) to serve as the basis for shared development, information exchange, and new formal methods needed to meet the complex challenges inherent in cyber-physical systems. The research plan also enables discovery of common principles applicable to many CPS implementations, and the identification of critical gaps in standards and metrics.
- The second measurement science problem is the need for a platform for CPS experimentation and validation. The research plan provides for the development of an integrative, reconfigurable, reproducible, scalable and usable CPS testbed and its Universal CPS Environment for Federation (UCEF) to support NIST measurement science development for CPS. Integration of composability and modularity in the design of the CPS testbed allows its application to evaluating performance of CPS systems in multiple domains, enabling its use by a diversity of communities for a range of applications, and its agility and application at large scale through reconfigurable combinations with other testbeds at NIST, across the nation, and around the world.
- The third measurement science problem is the need for NIST to lead in organizing technical work across multiple sectors, and in identifying and promoting innovation and industry-led technical convergence. The research, development and engagement plan includes bringing together governments/users (cities) and technology innovators (industry and academia) to demonstrate a scalable and reproducible model for incubation and deployment of interoperable, adaptable and configurable IoT/CPS technologies and solutions in Smart and Secure Communities/Cities. These collaborative activities create a sense of community and shared purpose, mobilize academic, commercial, and government resources toward shared objectives, facilitates the identification of standards and measurement needs, and highlight NIST's role as a neutral convener and technical expert in the CPS/IoT field.
What is the research plan?
The research plan consists of three elements as follows. The first focuses on new approaches enabling the design and engineering of a cyber-physical system from initial conceptualization through realization (including successful operation) and assurance. This requires a new systems science and engineering approach that introduces system decomposition based on logical and physical implementation of function, and enables design and analysis of CPS based on a comprehensive set of concerns. Principles for integrating logical and physical, and concern-driven methodologies include:
- integrated concepts from engineering, computer science, physics, and materials science (e.g. “better security through physics”);
- focus on interoperability, modularity, and composability;
- designed-in trustworthiness in reliability, safety, cyber- and physical-security, resilience, and privacy;
- interconnected data and analytics between systems; and
- lifecycle support for all phases of development from initial concept to manufacturing and deployment and retirement.
The first element of the research plan applies these principles to enable new, scalable CPS design approaches. This work includes development and refinement of the CPS Framework and its analysis methodology (facets and aspects). This work provides the foundation for subsequent development of standards for interoperability and composability across architectural layers and between components and systems. An additional activity is the development of specific topics identified in the CPS Framework, such as trustworthiness (reliability, resilience, safety, security, and privacy), human concerns, and multi-characteristic risk management strategies. The results are essential to developing CPS for use in sensitive applications such as health care and assisted living; in safety-critical applications such as remote surgery; in time-critical applications such as the smart grid; and in critical infrastructures for disaster resilience, traffic management, and municipal water systems. In addition, UML and XML tools and tailoring of the CPS Framework for selected domains (transportation, for example) are being developed to enable the CPS Framework to be effectively transferred to industry.
The second element of the research plan focuses on the capabilities required for experimental orchestration, measurement and evaluation of the performance of more capable and complex cyber physical systems. In this context, CPS performance metrics include efficiency and sustainability, agility and flexibility, reliability (including time critical performance), resilience, usability, safety, security, and privacy. Research in this second area focuses on the development of a comprehensive abstraction infrastructure comprising tools, platforms, testbeds, and integrated design environments to enable the application of formal methods and standards to the co-design of heterogeneous, interacting components. Testbeds and research platforms developed under this initiative will be integrative, scalable, reconfigurable, remotely accessible, and adaptable to multiple domains and applications.
The third element of the research plan focuses on supporting development, deployment and understanding of measurable and replicable applications of CPS and IoT at scale in U.S. and global smart cities and communities. Through work to build CPS communities-of-interest, such as in the NIST Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge, and efforts to coordinate and enhance Federal agencies activities, NIST has demonstrated leadership in engaging smart cities with CPS industry leaders and academic partners. With access to Challenge participants and their technical expertise and work plans including deployable architectures, NIST can leverage state-of-the-art innovative CPS applications, identify innovative advances and opportunities for technical convergence, support development of best practices, and promote measurement science development of system-level performance metrics in smart cities.
In considering factors which influence future CPS program direction, it is noted that there has been increasing technology developments (churn) over the past year which require continual effort to keeping abreast of, but there also has been positive maturation of IoT and CPS concepts and increased interest internationally in new standardization efforts and other organizational activities. New future-leaning opportunities to advance CPS/IoT development are being identified, including through integration with fields such as Artificial Intelligence, which will need to be evaluated in the upcoming year. Overall, there appears to be an increased appetite for societal-scale CPS/IoT applications, and greater IT/OT (Operational Technology) Community interactions broadly, which indicate a growing recognition of CPS/IoT value potential.