Understanding Uncertainty in Cyber-Physical Systems: A Conceptual Model

  • Man ZhangEmail author
  • Bran Selic
  • Shaukat Ali
  • Tao Yue
  • Oscar Okariz
  • Roland Norgren
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9764)


Uncertainty is intrinsic in most technical systems, including Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). Therefore, handling uncertainty in a graceful manner during the real operation of CPS is critical. Since designing, developing, and testing modern and highly sophisticated CPS is an expanding field, a step towards dealing with uncertainty is to identify, define, and classify uncertainties at various levels of CPS. This will help develop a systematic and comprehensive understanding of uncertainty. To that end, we propose a conceptual model for uncertainty specifically designed for CPS. Since the study of uncertainty in CPS development and testing is still irrelatively unexplored, this conceptual model was derived in a large part by reviewing existing work on uncertainty in other fields, including philosophy, physics, statistics, and healthcare. The conceptual model is mapped to the three logical levels of CPS: Application, Infrastructure, and Integration. It is captured using UML class diagrams, including relevant OCL constraints. To validate the conceptual model, we identified, classified, and specified uncertainties in two distinct industrial case studies.


Uncertainty Cyber-Physical systems Conceptual model 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Man Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bran Selic
    • 1
  • Shaukat Ali
    • 1
  • Tao Yue
    • 1
    • 2
  • Oscar Okariz
    • 3
  • Roland Norgren
    • 4
  1. 1.Simula Research LaboratoryOsloNorway
  2. 2.University of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.ULMA Handling SystemsOñatiSpain
  4. 4.Future Position XGävleSweden

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