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New Frontiers in Systems Theory: Cyber-Physical and Human Networks

Date and Time
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Engineering Quadrangle B205
Massimo Franceschetti, from University of California at San Diego

We illustrate through two examples some new challenges that network, information, and control theories are facing in a world of widespread sensing, ubiquitous connectivity, and availability of massive data. In the first part of the talk, we argue that in this new context the focus of network science should shift from studying the structural properties of the network to modeling the process dynamics occurring over the network, including the human dynamics. To elaborate on this point of view, we consider a Shelling-type model of agent dynamics leading to community formation in large networks that is related to the Ising model of statistical physics. We show how the model can be solved rigorously, after 50 years from its introduction, and what lessons can be learned from this new analysis. In the second part of the talk, we shift the focus from the analysis of dynamical systems to their control. We argue that in cyber-physical systems control must be performed over communication channels, and observations corrupted by noise are subject to delay and erasures. In this new framework, one of the central results is the data-rate theorem, describing the trade-off between the system dynamics and the data-rate available over the feedback loop. After reviewing this classic result, we show that the new paradigm of event-triggering control provides a completely new perspective, leading to new insights on the information-theoretic value of timing in communication.
Massimo Franceschetti received the Laurea degree (with  honors) in computer engineering from the University of Naples, Naples, Italy, in 1997, the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in ele trical engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, in 1999, and 2003, respectively. He is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). Before joining UCSD, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California at Berkeley for two years.  He is co-author of the book “Random Networks for Communication” and author of the book “Wave theory of information,” both published by Cambridge University Press. Dr. Franceschetti served as Associate Editor for Communication Networks of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory (2009 – 2012), as associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems (2013- 2016), as Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering (2014-2017) and as Guest Associate Editor of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (2008, 2009).  He is an IEEE Fellow and was awarded the C. H. Wilts Prize in 2003 for best doctoral thesis in electrical engineering at Caltech; the S.A. Schelkunoff Award in 2005 for best paper in the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award in 2006, an Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award in 2007, the IEEE Communications Society Best Tutorial Paper Award in 2010, and the IEEE Control theory society Ruberti young researcher award in 2012.

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