A central topic of the Programme is the focus on high-confidence systems, the societal impact of which will become crucial. The Programme presents major engineering practices and scientific advances that help to keep system complexity under control. This includes courses covering the modeling of systems and their functional and non-functional properties. The complexity of embedded and cyberphysical systems design is manifold. These systems are concurrent by nature, use processors running sequential (usually C) programs, incorporate real-time and hybrid (discrete/continuous) features, operate in uncertain environments with probabilistic/stochastic characteristics, and face demanding safety, security, and performance constraints. The design of such systems raises numerous issues, some of which are related to rapidly-evolving technologies, whereas others are of a more fundamental nature. This Master Programme seeks to provide state-of-the art information as well as essential, perennial knowledge that will still be relevant many years ahead.
There has been considerable progress in the last decades. Mathematical approaches to system design are now implemented in tools, making them more usable than traditional pen-and-pencil exercises. A key line of this Master Programme is to illustrate each course with concrete examples to be tackled using state-of-the-art software tools, so as to prepare a new generation of students who will be familiar with the most recent techniques and will irrigate industry and academia with their expertise.
The courses require no prior knowledge of embedded and cyberphysical systems, and cater both to students seeking an academic career and students interested by working in industry.
Hence, in three core courses (HECS-1, HECS-2, and HECS-3), system-design issues are considered from complementary perspectives: sequential, concurrent, and quantitative (namely, timed, probabilistic, stochastic, and hybrid behaviours) aspects. These three courses provide a comprehensive picture of the issues and methods related to the design of high-confidence embedded or cyberphysical systems.
The shared course HECS-4 aims at complementing these fundamental aspects with a comprehensive overview of the industrial context, with a description of the needs and the methodologies currently used for the design of high-confidence hardware/software systems.
The HECS curriculum can be complemented by additional shared courses (HECS-5, HECS-6, HECS-7, and HECS-8) that provide deeper insight into security, privacy, requirements engineering, and machine learning.