Tom Lankhorst

Tom Lankhorst BSc

Active student


Master's Thesis Project: An interface between man and machine

The objective of this research is to simplify the realization and management of Cyber-Phsyical Systems (CPSs). It introduces a new design and development approach that aides the realization of CPSs and demonstrates how this approach benefits both problem analysis, formulation of a solution and realization of the system.

Developers, designers and architects currently manage CPS realization complexity using tools. Among these are domain-specific languages, simulation environments and formal methods. Yet, these individually used tools leave much of the realization difficulty to the creator of a CPS. Naively adding more manpower to the realization of a CPS solves the problem in part, as it also increases the complexity of the project.

A more effective solution to the should be sought in reducing the apparent complexity itself. Sophisticated design and development tools could take care of parts of the orchestration and composition of the CPS and as such reduce its apparent complexity.

These tools should not encompass a secluded problem domain but rather address and integrate aspects of realization of a system. This typically means that tools should provide clear interfaces for human and machine collaboration. The main outcome of this research is an architecture framework for CPSs. This framework supports the process of designing, testing and maintaining during the life cycle of the system.

The presented architecture framework is of interest to those that involve in the realization of CPS. Using the suggested architecture framework or parts thereof could help them manage design complexity. It enables faster, cheaper and more reliable development of CPSs. This is in turn of interest to those that care about the quality and costs of a system. Those typically include end-users, buyers, management and investors. 

Application of the approach to two use cases should show how it impacts their design process.