Semantics-based Explanation of Cyber-physical Systems

Transportation systems, smart buildings, factories and energy grids are all highly complex, dynamic systems that span the physical, digital and human spheres and are therefore called Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). It is estimated that such critical infrastructures cause about 70% of Austria’s green-house gas emissions.

Indeed, as CPSs are becoming increasingly complex and dynamic, their transparency, in terms of why certain system events happen, diminishes. This hampers (technical) system operators in running the system safely and economically efficiently and also reduces user-friendliness.

The SENSE project focuses on creating Explainable Cyber-Physical Sytems (ExpCPS) in which system events can be explained to a range of interested stakeholders. The prohect hypothesis is that explanations of CPS events could improve their transparency, contributing to increased efficiency and user-friendliness and impacting environmental sustainability.

SENSE will advance ExpCPS research in three ways.

First, at the scientific level, SENSE will investigate cutting-edge ExpCPS technologies which will strengthen Austria’s sovereignty in managing CPS underlying its key infrastructures:

  • (i) the extension of standard Digital Twin architectures;
  • (ii) novel methods for semantics-based explainability;
  • (iii) personalized and interactive user interfaces.

Second, SENSE is guided by two use cases in the smart grid and smart building domains from Austria’s largest smart city living lab. Technology advances will be applied to these use cases through several in vitro (simulation-based) and in vivo (living lab-based) proofs-of-concept (PoCs) with high domain-specific novelty and exploitation potential.

Third, the developed PoCs will be the basis for user studies that will provide data for assessing the impact of ExpCPS on sustainability through newly developed economic evaluation models.

SENSE Factsheet

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Funding Period
30 months
(Feb 2023 – Jul 2025)

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