The “Addressing Verification and Validation Challenges in Future Cyber-Physical Systems” (ADVANCE) H2020 RISE research project has started this year with the participation of researchers working on the challenges of future cyber-physical systems. Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are complex systems where the physical aspects are deeply integrated with the communication and computing (cyber) parts providing physical systems with new “intelligent” capabilities. Examples for CPS include autonomous transportation, Industry 4.0 or Internet of Things (IoT) systems. The tight interaction with the physical world often means that CPSs, if not operating properly, can cause harm to users and/or the environment. Therefore the verification and validation (V&V) of such systems is a must. The project will study the the V&V methods and the data analysis techniques that are efficient and effective for the new challenges in cyber-physical systems. The goal of the project is to form an international network of organisations working on a joint research and training programme.

According to the Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) format, the joint research is performed during research exchanges between the partners. The duration of the project is 4 years, and 7 partner organizations are participating: Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale Per L’Informatica (Italy), Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal), Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary),  Universidad de los Andes (Columbia), ResilTech s.r.l. (Italy), Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Brazil) and Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (Brazil). The first Transfer of Knowledge workshop was already held in Florence in the beginning of February 2019.

Project kick-off: Industrial use cases and new challenges

The project will work on two CPS case studies to collect challenges and requirements for  future V&V activities. The first one is the Brazilian Environmental Data Collection System (BEDCS) developed and operated at INPE, which is a system to monitor the state of rainforest and oceans. The system consists of more than 800 data collection stations scattered throughout Brazil, satellites collecting the data from the stations, and a data processing and visualization center. The system consists of heterogeneous, dynamic components developed and evolved since the nineties, therefore the V&V of the systems is highly complex and critical. One of the current major challenges is to update the system to a CubeSat-based platform without interruptions in the system operation.

The second use case provided by ResilTech is studying the use of modern, multi-core processors and operating systems in future safety-critical systems. Based on experiences in the automotive, railway and industrial automation domains, currently single-core processors and dedicated operating systems supporting a limited number of devices and sensors are used in safety-critical systems. However, on the one hand due to new CPS application areas, e.g. autonomous driving or intelligent industrial controllers, increased performance and flexibility is needed. On the other hand introducing multi-core processors and more general operating systems pose significant verification and certification challenges. The ADVANCE project will work on V&V techniques applicable in this context and will follow relevant industrial initiatives (e.g. OSADL SIL2LinuxMP).

Project coordinator

Paolo Lollini

Paolo Lollini

Research Associate
Faculty of Science at the University of Florence
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science “U. Dini”, Italy

Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale Per L’Informatica (Italy)

CINI, a consortium of 44 public Italian universities, is today the main reference for the national academic research in the fields of Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and IT. It supports joint scientific activities of research and technological transfer, with academia, industries, and Public Administrations. The CINI research team participating in ADVANCE is the Local node of CINI at UNIFI (CINI-FI) and in particular the Resilient Computing Lab (RCL). CINI-FI has his main research focus on dependable architectures and systems. The group is currently involved in research spanning two macro areas: (1) architectures and techniques for fault-tolerant systems, infrastructures and networks, and (2) validation of systems dependability, trust and QoS through analytical, simulative and experimental techniques. CINI-FI has extensive previous experience in the field of Verification, Validation, Assessment and Measurement of trustworthiness in critical systems.

Key persons: Paolo Lollini (coordinator), Andrea Bondavalli (full professor)


Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal)

The Systems and Software Engineering (SSE) Group is located at the Centre for Informatics and Systems of the University of Coimbra (CISUC). CISUC is part of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (UC), which is a prestigious European Research Higher Education Institution. With around 20000 students, UC is one of the largest Universities in Portugal. The Systems and Software Engineering Group (formerly named Dependable Systems Group) has been active since 1989, and includes 12 professors and 20 Ph.D. students.

Key persons: Henrique Madeira (full professor)


Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary)

BME is a university with approximately 22.000 students. The Fault Tolerant Systems Research Group at the Dept. of Measurement and Information Systems has his main research focus on dependable and cloud systems, model-driven software development and formal methods. The group is currently involved in research spanning two CPS related macro areas: (1) V&V techniques (2) measurement-based system identification. The FTSRG has extensive experience in V&V, big data-based measurement analysis, critical CPS. The group offers an MSc course on CPS.

Key persons: Zoltán Micskei (assistant professor), András Pataricza (full professor)


Universidad de los Andes (Columbia)

According to the QS 2015/2016 University Ranking, UNIANDES was the 283rd top university worldwide. The Dept. of Industrial Engineering at UNIANDES has a total of 1,970 students and 3 research groups that are ranked at the top level according to Colombian research ranking criteria. COPA (Centre for Optimization and Applied Probability) research group supports the decision making process at organizations via the analysis, design and application of operations research and statistical computer-based techniques.

Key persons: Ivan Mura (professor)


ResilTech s.r.l. (Italy)

ResilTech is an ICT consultancy company operating in the field of critical systems since early 2008; it is a SME company (~25 employers) that integrates the experiences of R&D in resilient computing with specific industrial skills. These two sectors perfectly integrated inside the company makes of ResilTech an ICT consulting company always aware of leading edge technologies and open to innovation. With such a background the company provides a competitive added value offering leading-edge expertise, consultancy and technical support in the Railway and in the Automotive domains regarding the following three main areas: i) Support to the Architectural design of Resilient and Secure Systems, ii) Verification and Validation of Safety Critical Systems, iii) Dependability and Quality of Service Quantitative Evaluation. Regarding the analysis, design, verification and validation of critical systems, ResilTech expertise covers all the involved aspects: modelling, specification, validation and verification; Hazard Analysis; analysis of Mean Time Between Hazardous Events; Failure Mode and Effect Analysis; System FMEA; planning and management of Safety Cases; Verification and Validation activities planning; Software Quality verification. Regarding the Architectures and Methodologies for Resilient and Secure Systems, ResilTech services encompass from the support to the architectural design of critical ICT systems to the software development of diagnostic libraries for embedded systems.

Key persons: Francesco Brancati


Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Brazil)

The University of Campinas is a leading Brazilian public university that has attained international recognition for excellence through its innovative approach to higher education. It is the 2nd Latin America's top ten university, and it is the top Brazilian university in number of published articles per faculty members. The UNICAMP group in this project comprises the Institute of Computing (IC) and the School of Technology (FT).

Key persons: Eliane Martins (associate professor)


Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (Brazil)

INPE is a governmental civilian organization which develops research in Space and Atmospheric Sciences, Earth Observation and Science, Meteorology and Space Engineering. INPE has graduate schools in these areas with an average of 150 students graduated per year, being 85 MSc and 63 PhD. INPE also provides numerical weather and climate prediction products, applies remote sensing techniques, and develops space systems such as satellites and balloons, and ground segment for spacecraft monitoring, control, and data collection, processing and dissemination.

Key persons: Fátima Mattiello-Francisco (senior technologist)