Team NeCS

Overall Objectives
Scientific Foundations
Application Domains
New Results
Contracts and Grants with Industry
Other Grants and Activities

Section: Other Grants and Activities

European Initiatives


The FeedNetBack proposal has been accepted as a STREP project at the FP7-ICT-2007-2 call in October 2007. It is coordinated by Carlos Canudas de Wit and gathers researchers from academia (INRIA-NeCS, ETH Zurich, Universidad de Sevilla, KTH Stockholm, Universita di Padova) and from industry (Ifremer, Vodera, Vitamib, Intellio and OMG).

The main objective of the FeedNetBack project is to generate a rigorous co-design framework that integrates architectural constraints and performance trade-offs from control, communication, computation, complexity and energy management. The goal is to master complexity, temporal and spatial uncertainties such as delays and bandwidth in communications and node availability. This approach will enable the development of more efficient, robust and affordable networked control systems that scale and adapt with changing application demands. The project will extend the current scientific state-of-the-art in networked control and develop a set of software tools to support the co-design framework. To demonstrate the potential and limitations of the new technology, FeedNetBack will apply it on two industrial test cases of realistic complexity and scale: underwater inspection systems based on fleets of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), and surveillance systems using a network of smart cameras. The control component is essential in both test cases as they require cooperation of distributed objects to achieve a common goal ( ). Specific issues that will be addressed in the project include:

Since in NCS the goal is to ensure satisfactory performance of the overall closed loop system, these problems are treated holistically through sets of performance constraints.

The co-design framework aims at controlling more complex systems with a fraction of the effort, while increasing availability and reliability. The framework will enable application developers, programmers and systems integrators to fully use the potential of networked control in a wide set of industrial domains. Examples of areas where an impact is expected are the fields of factory automation, public infrastructure safety and security, transport and building maintenance.

FeedNetBack will go beyond developing new technologies, but will also apply these technologies to areas of society where they protect the environment and improve people's safety, security and ultimately quality of life.


HYCON2 (Highly-Complex and Networked Control Systems) is a Network of Excellence, within the European Union's FP7. It has started on Sept. 2010, for a duration of three years. Coordinated by Françoise Lamnabhi-Lagarrigue (L2S-CNRS), it involves 26 academic institutions from all over Europe.

ICT developments both enable and enforce large-scale, highly-connected systems in society and industry, but knowledge to cope with these emerging systems is still lacking. HYCON2 will stimulate and establish the long-term integration of the European research community, leading institutions and industry in the strategic field of control of complex, large-scale, and networked dynamical systems. It will interconnect scattered groups to create critical mass and complementarity, and will provide the necessary visibility and communication with the European industries. HYCON2 will assess and coordinate basic and applied research, from fundamental analytical properties of complex systems to control design methodologies with networking, self-organizing and system-wide coordination. HYCON2 has identified several applications domains to motivate, integrate, and evaluate research in networked control. These domains are ground and aerospace transportation, electrical power networks, process industries, and biological and medical systems. Benchmarking will serve as a tool for testing and evaluating the technologies developed in HYCON2 and for stimulating and enforcing excellence by the identification and adoption of best practices. In particular, two show-case applications corresponding to real-world problems have been selected in order to demonstrate the applicability of networked control and the need for research in control. As no substantial technological breakthrough can be achieved without preparing the proper cultural background, a further important objective of HYCON2 is to spread and disseminate excellence through multi-disciplinary education at the graduate and undergraduate level. The proposed research, integration and dissemination program will make Europe both the prominent scientific and the industrial leader in the area of highly complex and networked control systems, therefore posing Europe in an extraordinary position to exploit their impact in economy and society.

The NeCS team is mainly involved in the first show case application, which corresponds to the operation of the freeway network around the Grenoble area. The recent advent of new vehicle sensing technologies provides an opportunity for innovative control applications in traffic management. The Grenoble Traffic Lab (GTL) initiative, lead by the NeCS team, has the ambition to equip massively the Grenoble south beltway with wireless magnetometers. The availability of such a reliable sensor network, designed primarily with control applications in mind, will allow to see control systems used in the field of freeway management. Control systems in road transportation are primarily involved in the management of traffic lights in urban (city corridors), and inter-urban sectors (rings highways). The target of most of the efforts in the domain is to improve the freeway efficient in an equal way to all drivers. The goal of this show case is to provide a rich set of field traffic data to the control community in order to test their algorithms on a practical real-world problem. These data will be available through a web server administered by INRIA along with all the maps describing finely the freeway under study. Historical and real time data will be available. All these data with be ready for experiments and the outcomes can be provided to the road operators to judge the relevance and efficiency of the results for operational use.


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