In pursuit of Cyber Physical & Human Systems!

CPHS (on Cyber Physical & Human Systems) started in 2014 as an IFAC and IEEE CSS Co-sponsored workshop entitled H-CPS-I (Human Cyber Physical System Interaction: Control for Human Welfare) initiated from a brainstorming in the framework of the European Network of Excellence HYCON2 coordinated by CNRS, between partners IFSTTAR, CNRS,  UCL, MIT, Honeywell and EECI, and held in Paris, France. In response to the computing and internet revolutions, the workshop sought to bring together multidisciplinary experts and users to stimulate cross-fertilization in the field of technology design for the welfare of human beings in harmony with ethics, and with reference to control science and engineering.

The organizers’ aim has been to highlight the large range of applications and domains dealt with by different approaches.  Goals include identifying and highlighting new challenges in Human-CPS-systems design, discussing their social impact and ethical issues, formulating corresponding constraints to impose on technology, and articulating research opportunities to address and resolve the challenges.  Two events followed with the 1st CPHS 2016, set in Florianopolis, Brazil, under the leadership of IFSTTAR, CNRS, UCL, MIT, TU Munchen, Honeywell and EECI, and co-sponsored by IEEE CSS and by the NSF. This was followed by the 2nd IFAC CPHS 2018 held Miami, US, under the leadership of MIT, NSF and the TU Munchen, and co-sponsored by the IEEE CSS and NSF.

The participation of social scientists has increased progressively and actions for students have progressively been set, with the last workshop including special sessions and plenaries dedicated to students. The main IFAC TC sponsor for this workshop series has been the TC 9.2. Social Impact of Automation. Its success and importance is witnessed in the IFAC Systems & Control for the Future of Humanity, Research agenda: current and future roles, impact and grand challenges (Annual Reviews in Control, 43, 2017, 1-64) that highlights cyber physical and human systems as a key future research and innovation challenge. A Special Section has also been dedicated to CPHS in the same Journal, 44, 2017, 249-374.

An international Steering Committee led by CNRS and composed of MIT, University of Maryland, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kyoto University, KTH, University of California Irving, IFSTTAR and University of Minnesota has now been formed. The next CPHS edition will be led by the University of Minnesota and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and will take place in Shanghai, China, in December 2020. Watch this space!


Spurgeon, Sarah

TC 9.2

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