• Published on 04 Nov 2015
  • External News

Sum-up results CPS & BigData session

The ICT 2015 networking session on Cyber Physical Big Data Systems attracted over 100 participants. The session, which was jointly organized by the NESSI ETP, the BDVA, and ARTEMIS-IA, explored and identified opportunities, challenges and obstacles for Cyber Physical Big Data Systems.


Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) are embedded, autonomous, collaborative ICT systems that provide monitoring and control of physical components and processes in various application areas. CPS are becoming a major driver for digitalization in Europe. They will be a major source, collector, distributer and user of data, not only in volume, but increasingly in velocity, variety and veracity.

Big Data is about extracting valuable information from such data in order to use it in intelligent ways such as to revolutionize decision-making in businesses, science and society. The tremendous growth of data volume and velocity combined with easier access to data and the availability of powerful IT systems have led to intensified activities around Big Data. The importance of bringing together Big Data and CPS will continue to grow due to increased attention on data as an important business asset. 


The networking session featured position statements from representatives of each of the organisers, followed by a lively panel discussion, during which panellists responded to stimulating questions from the audience. Position statements were given by ARTEMIS-IA Vice President Laila Gide from THALES, BDVA Vice President Ed Curry from INSIGHT, and NESSI Steering Committee Chair Colin Upstill from IT Innovation, University of Southampton. Additional panel members were Sonja Zillner from SIEMENS, Jan Lohstroh from ARTEMIS-IA, and Bjorn Skjellaug from SINTEF. The networking session was initiated and moderated by Deputy Secretary General of BDVA and NESSI Steering Committee Vice-Chair Andreas Metzger from paluno.eu, University of Duisburg-Essen.


The ARTEMIS-IA view raised awareness to the specific characteristics of future CPS, including the move from analogue to a digital business models and the emergence of systems of systems. This will amplify concerns such as energy efficiency, quality of service, as well as security. The BDVA view emphasized that current big data technologies are insufficient for CPS applications as they may require domain- and service-specific adaptations. In particular, strong solutions for privacy and confidentiality are required for fostering user acceptance of data-driven offerings. Finally, the NESSI view reflected the core role of software engineering as key enabler for CPS. In particular, the impact of the many ‘V’s of big data (volume, velocity, variety, etc.) will require new software engineering architectures and methods.

The panel discussions – actively involving the audience – showed the opportunities and challenges at the intersection between cyber physical systems and data-intensive software systems and services and in turn indicated important opportunity for collaboration. Important topics discussed included the role of CPS as data provider vs. user, leading to the conclusion that CPS will take on both roles, and – for instance – as data user may make use of Big Data solutions to provide insights on CPS systems behaviour. Further, the relative relevance of the different ‘V’s for CPS were discussed with the conclusion that velocity appears to be a key ‘V’ due to its importance for real-time decision making. A key concern on data governance for CPS was raised, as the exchange of data in certain sectors may have to be controlled and therefore may impose an obstacle for companies (such as SMEs) to use data and make profits from data. The Big Data PPP aims at fostering data ecosystems (i-spaces) where data providers and users come together in secure environments for experimenting and thus offers one approach for addressing this concern.

The networking session closed with a look into the future on CPS and Big Data. The ten years’ predictions of the panellists ranged from the huge impact that the Digital Single Market will have had on EU industry, over the anticipation that digital natives will reign and may thus have different expectations on data privacy, to the expectation that Big Data will be commonplace and we will see other core enabling technologies emerging.

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