Welcome to the Control
Welcome to the
Control Of Discrete Event Systems (CODES) Laboratory…
The Control of Discrete Event Systems (CODES) Laboratory involves faculty
and graduate students from the Division of Systems Engineering and operates within the
Center for Information and Systems Engineering (CISE). Members of CODES conduct
research on modeling, design, analysis, performance evaluation, control, and optimization
of a variety of discrete event and hybrid systems – Communication and Sensor Networks,
Manufacturing, Transportation, Command/Control… Detailed descriptions of research projects
n the CODES Lab, interactive demos, simulations, and movies may be found at the CODES home page.
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t”
The rapid evolution of computer technology has brought
about the proliferation of new dynamic systems,
mostly “man-made” and highly complex.
Examples abound: computer networks, sensor networks
and cyber-physical systems, automated manufacturing
systems, air traffic control systems, integrated
command-control-information systems, etc.
Their complexity can be overwhelming.
One can only hope that there truly is some method to the
technological madness around us…
A bit of history…
Historically, scientists and engineers have concentrated on studying and harnessing natural phenomena
Which are well modeled by the laws of gravity, classical and nonclassical mechanics, electromagnetics,
physical chemistry, etc. In so doing, we typically deal with quantities such as the displacement, velocity,
and acceleration of particles and rigid bodies, or the pressure, temperature, and flow rates of fluids
and gases. These are continuous variables in the sense that they can take on any real value as time itself
continuously evolves. Based on this fact, a vast body of mathematical tools and techniques has been
developed to model, analyze, and control the systems around us. It is fair to say that the study of
ordinary and partial differential equations currently provides the main infrastructure for system analysis
From TIME-DRIVEN to EVENT-DRIVEN systems
In the day-to-day life of our “man-made” and increasingly computer-dependent world, we notice:
First, that many of the quantities we deal with are discrete, typically involving counting integers
(how many parts in an inventory, how many planes in a runway, how many telephone calls are active).
Second, that what drives many of the processes we use and depend on are instantaneous events
such as the pushing of a button, hitting a keyboard key, or a traffic light turning green.
In fact, much of the technology we have invented and rely on (especially where digital computers
are involved) is event-driven: communication networks, manufacturing systems, or the execution of
a computer program are common examples. Not only must these systems act as “event coordinators”,
but they are also expected to swiftly react to unpredictable events, rapidly adapt to changing conditions,
and guarantee their users satisfactory – if not optimal – performance.
In short, all activity in these systems is due to asynchronous occurrences of discrete events, some
Controlled (like hitting a keyboard key) and some not (like a spontaneous equipment failure). This
feature lends itself to the term Discrete Event System (DES). When systems combine both time-driven
and event-driven behavior, we then deal with Hybrid Systems.
Research in Discrete Event and Hybrid systems
The main challenges we face in designing and controlling discrete event and hybrid systems come from:
CODES Lab activities cover a wide spectrum, from basic research to the development of software tools.
These activities include:
interactive demos and video clips of CODES lab experiments involving wireless
sensor networks and robots under WWW Resources.
If you are interested in applying for admission to our graduate program and joining the CODES
Please visit Graduate Admission Information.