Tutorial series 2021

The IEEE CSS TC DES is organizing a Virtual Lightning Tutorial Series on Discrete Event Systems throughout 2021 to enhance communications in our community during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Time & Date:

The tutorials take place virtually via Zoom on the 3rd Thursday of each month in 2021 (except August) at 13:00 UTC (Paris 14:00, New York City 8:00, Beijing 21:00). Please see the detailed schedule below.


In order to include members of our community on all levels (ranging from phd-students, to post-docs, to junior and senior faculty members) we have decided on the format of “lightning tutorials”, followed by a virtual coffee break organized via break-out rooms randomly assigning 5-6 people to a room for more informal chatting. Lightning tutorials are rather short (≈ 40 minutes) and are intended to introduce a fundamental or emerging topic/sub-field of DES research to a broad audience. They can be thought of as an introduction to a review paper or a book chapter, introducing the particular topic/sub-field, why it is worth studying (either from a theoretical or a practical perspective), its main insights (what is known/what is unknown) and maybe a list of influential papers in this field.


Registration is free. For security reasons we require pre-registration. Participants will receive log-in details to the virtual zoom meeting after registration.

Please register here!


State Estimation and Event Inference in DES: Implications to Detectability, Diagnosability and Opacity

  • Speaker: Christoforos Hadjicostis

  • Date: January 21

  • Abstract: We discuss recursive algorithms for state estimation and event inference, both of which are key tasks for monitoring and control of discrete event systems. In particular, we discuss algorithms for current-, initial-, and delayed-state estimation. We also discuss implications to various pertinent properties of interest, such as detectability (i.e., the ability to determine the exact system state after a finite number of events), diagnosability (i.e., the ability to detect within finite time the occurrence/type of a fault), and opacity (i.e., the guarantee that outsiders will never be able to infer that the system state lies within a set of certain secret/critical states). The talk also briefly discusses the extension of state estimation and event inference methodologies in emerging decentralized/distributed observation settings.

Discreet Event Systems: Opacity and Its Enforcement

  • Speaker: Stephane Lafortune

  • Date: February 18

  • Abstract: Opacity is an information-flow property used in privacy and security applications. A dynamic system is opaque if an external observer that knows the system model and makes online observations of its behavior is not able to detect with certainty some "secret" information about the system. We discuss various notions of opacity and their verification in the context of discrete event systems modeled by automata or transition systems: current-state opacity, initial-state opacity, and K-step opacity. Then we consider how to enforce opacity for systems that are not opaque. We focus on opacity enforcement using obfuscation, when an external interface edits the outputs of the system in order to confuse the observer. We present solution methodologies for different variations of this problem. We conclude with illustrative examples of opacity in the context of location privacy in location-based services.                                  

Abstractions: A Bridge Between Continuous Dynamics and Discrete Event Systems

  • Speaker: Necmiye Ozay

  • Date: March 18

  • Abstract: The abstract of this talk will be avaliable soon                                         

Distributed Synthesis

  • Speaker: Stavros Tripakis

  • Date: April 22

  • Abstract: The abstract of this talk will be avaliable soon                                         

A Survey on Petri Nets Models for Logistics and Transportation Systems

  • Speaker: Mariagrazia Dotoli

  • Date: May 20

  • Abstract: Logistics and transportation systems are man-made systems that are well suited for modeling in a discrete event system framework and particularly by Petri Nets (PNs), due to their different characteristics: distributed, parallel, deterministic, stochastic, discrete, and continuous. The paper presents a survey on the various Petri nets modeling frameworks proposed in the related literature for logistics and transportation systems, with applications to modeling, simulation, analysis, optimization and control. In particular, we focus on papers dealing with freight transportation and outline and classify the related works conducted using PNs as regards the proposed framework and addressed problems. We also debate the approaches viability, discussing contributions and limitations, and identify future research potentials.

From Perturbation Analysis of DEDS to a General Optimization Theory in the AI Era

  • Speaker: Xiren Cao

  • Date: June 17

  • Abstract: The abstract of this talk will be avaliable soon                                

Partially Observed Discrete Event Systems: from Estimation to Cyber-Security

  • Speaker: Alessandro Giua

  • Date: July 22

  • Abstract: The abstract of this talk will be avaliable soon                                         

On Modular and Compositional Approaches to Compute Supervisors

  • Speaker: Martin Fabian

  • Date: September 16

  • Abstract: The abstract of this talk will be avaliable soon                                         

Supervisory Control of Non-Terminating Processes — a Concise Introduction

  • Speaker: Thomas Moor

  • Date: October 21

  • Abstract: The abstract of this talk will be avaliable soon                                         

Synthesis-Based Engineering of Supervisory Controllers – From Specification to Implementation

  • Speaker: Joanna (Asia) van de Mortel – Fronczak

  • Date: November 18

  • Abstract: In cyber-physical systems, safety and availability are of utmost importance. To satisfy requirements on safety and availability, suitable supervisory controllers need to be employed. Supervisory control theory provides a foundation on which a model-based engineering method has been developed, providing guarantees on the correctness of resulting supervisory controllers with respect to the defined requirements. In this lecture, an overview will be given of the recent research projects at Eindhoven University of Technology aiming at the development of extensions to this method, and of supporting tools, giving rise to an integrated approach to the design of supervisory controllers for complex real-life systems. This includes a mathematically underpinned, straightforward and error-free path to implementation of the designed controllers. The research projects are related to the partnership with Rijkswaterstaat which is a part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

Event-Driven Receding Horizon Control for Complex Problems in Network Systems

  • Speaker: Christos Cassandras

  • Date: December 9

  • Abstract: The abstract of this talk will be avaliable soon