Objectives. The impact of novel theories and algorithms in academic research and in industrial practice strongly depends on the availability of software tools that enable their application to real world problems, in an easy and user‐friendly way, by non‐experts, and with almost zero learning curve. In the area of system-wide, networked, and hybrid control, there are numerous tools available that have been developed by academic researchers in recent years, and that are under development in on‐going specifically‐focused research projects in FP7. The diversity of tools in the area of networked control systems and system‐wide optimization‐based control is partly caused by the early stage of the scientific developments in this area and the diversity of approaches (theoretical background, modelling formalisms, algorithms).
The main objective of WP6 is to coordinate such scattered and inhomogeneous development efforts by (i) identifying similarities and complementarities, to cross‐fertilize existing individual efforts, (ii) developing common benchmarks, (iii) designing and coding interfaces for seamless interoperability of tools (ideally: design a controller with Tool A, analyze stability and performance with Tool B, simulate the closed‐loop with Tool C), (iv) identifying and developing possible new components to fully cover the whole spectrum of tools required for analysis and design of complex and networked control systems; (v) dissemination to the academic world and to industry, industrial feedback on real‐life applicability. Such an integration effort cannot be achieved in any of the running small‐size research projects, and will be perfectly complementary to the activities carried out in those projects and by other researchers in the control community.
As a first step towards tool integration, a living wiki site was setup with the purpose of creating a self-updating reference. This has the goal of acting as an up-to-date documentation for each of the toolboxes that were detected as relevant to advanced control systems, providing links to developers and downloads, and in the future to new interfaces designed within the HYCON2 activities of WP6 and common benchmarks, with the aim of further disseminating the tools in academia and industry.
Efforts are also ongoing to enhance the so-called Compositional Interchange Format, with the goal of determining model transformations that preserve certain properties of formal and compositional semantics, and that are linked to simulation environments such as Simulink and Modelica.