Boston University

College of Engineering

Division of Systems Engineering




(4 credits)



Professor Christos G. Cassandras

PHO (8 St. Mary's St.), Room 425,

TEL: 353-7154, E-MAIL:, WWW:



• Organization:      Lectures: M,W 12:20-2:05PM, PHO 404/428


• Prerequisites:     EK 500 or equivalent; SE501 or equivalent


• Requirements:

1. Homework Assignments and Class Presentations


2. Course project and report



• Objectives:          

1. Learn about Discrete Event Systems (DES) as well as Hybrid Systems (HS) that combine both continuous (time-driven) and discrete (event-driven) dynamics and about their applications in many different domains (multi-agent systems, Cyber-Physical Systems, communication and sensor networks, manufacturing, transportation, etc).


2. Learn about data-driven methodologies for the control and optimization of these systems, capitalizing on the proliferation of “big data” availability.

3. Develop the ability to conceptualize cutting-edge issues in the DES and HS domain, and formulate problems for potential research purposes.  


• Office Hours:       Monday, 2:15-3:15pm.


• Required Books: Cassandras, C.G., and Lafortune, S., Introduction to Discrete Event Systems, 2nd Edition, Springer, 2007. 




1. Review of system theory fundamentals

2. Untimed DES Models: Automata, Petri Nets

3. Timed Models: Timed Automata, Timed Petri Nets, max-plus algebra models

4. Monte Carlo computer simulation: principles, pitfalls, applications using commercial software tools (e.g., SimEvents see

5. Stochastic models, queueing theory

6. Markov Decision Process theory

7. Perturbation Analysis and Rapid Learning methods

8. Hybrid Systems: Hybrid Automata, Mixed Logical Dynamical systems, Stochastic Flow Models

9. Introduction to the analysis and control of Hybrid Systems








·       Baccelli, F., G. Cohen, G.J. Olsder, and J.-P. Quadrat, "Synchronization and Linearity: An Algebra for Discrete Event Systems", Wiley, Chichester, 1992.

·       Ho, Y.C., and X. Cao, "Perturbation Analysis of Discrete Event Dynamic Systems", Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, 1991.

·       Law, A.M., and W.D. Kelton,"Simulation Modeling and Analysis", McGraw-Hill, New York, 1991.

·       Ross, S.M., "Introduction to Stochastic Dynamic Programming", Academic Press, New York, 1983.

·       Proceedings of the IEEE, Special Issue on Hybrid Systems, (P. Antsaklis, Ed.), Vol. 88, 7, 2000.

·       Cassandras, C.G, and Lygeros, J., (Ed’s), "Stochastic Hybrid Systems”, CRC Press, 2007.

·       Alur, R., “Principles of Cyber-physical Systems”, MIT Press, 2015.

·       State-of-the art papers to be handed out in class