Special Issue on Discrete Event Systems for Automation

A special issue of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering.


In recent years, the enormous evolution of computer technology has led to the proliferation of dynamical systems that are mostly man made and highly complex. The behaviour of these systems is determined by the occurrence of asynchronous events: because of this attribute they are labeled as Discrete Event Systems (DES). Examples of such systems are encountered in many well known application areas such as automated manufacturing, computer networks, transportation, air traffic control, as well as in new emerging areas such as healthcare, communication and information processing, allocation and management of technical, human and financial resources. In the last decades the attention of a large number of researchers and practitioners has been devoted to this class of dynamical systems in order to address a series of difficult problems of combinatorial nature to analyze, optimize and control DES.

The goal of this special issue is to bring together researchers and practitioners from both academia and industry into a forum that will reveal the state-of-the-art of research and applications in the general area of DES automation, present efficient scientific and engineering solutions to a series of problems related to supervisory control, fault diagnosis, analysis, etc., and provide visions for future research and development.

Scope, Description, and More Information

The proposed special issue focuses on new approaches and future directions in automation science and engineering in the DES framework. A series of problems that arise in all systems with a high degree of automation will be considered including supervisory control, optimal resource allocation, fault diagnosis, state estimation, deadlock prevention and recovery. A large effort has been devoted to these topics in the last decades. However, many theoretical problems in this framework are still open, or their application is only limited to small case studies, while their application to problems of industrial relevance still remains a challenge. Moreover, a series of emerging areas such as healthcare and power distribution, deserve the attention of the DES communities since many aspects in their framework can be effectively formulated in terms of DES, taking advantage of the large amount of theoretical and methodological results in this area.

Particular attention will also be devoted to new models for abstracting discrete-event systems, such as event-driven fluid models. Many such models have already been derived by the fluidification of queuing networks or Petri nets, and used to solve simulation, optimization and control problems, and to model manufacturing and transportation systems. However, the usefulness of fluidification in the solution of other problems such as fault diagnosis or state estimation, has been investigated by very few authors, and the application of discrete-event based fluid models to new emerging areas is practically unexplored.

Original and unpublished high-quality research and application results are solicited. The target submissions could also present academic surveys and reviews that summarize state-of-the-art theories and practices in this area. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Control of Discrete Event Systems
  • State estimation of Discrete Event Systems
  • Fault diagnosis and prognosis of Discrete Event Systems
  • Reconfigurable control and fault-tolerant control of Discrete Event Systems
  • Optimization and scheduling of Discrete Event Systems
  • Identification of Discrete Event Systems
  • Optimal resource allocation
  • Discrete approaches for hybrid systems
  • Hybrid approaches for discrete event systems
  • Distributed and modular approaches
  • Applications including (but not limited to) the following:
    • Manufacturing and flexible production systems
    • Vehicular technologies and transportation systems
    • Power generation and distribution
    • Medical Systems, Healthcare, and Assisted Living
    • Telecommunications
    • Automated and Internet-based Workflow Management Systems

Important Dates

Call for Papers October 15, 2011
Deadline for Paper Submission September 15, 2012
First Review January 31, 2013
Final Review September 01, 2013
Publication December 2013


Guest Editors

MariaPia Fanti

Guest Editor
Politecnico di Bari, Dipartimento di Elettrotecnica ed Elettronica

MariaPia Fanti

Italy Bari, Italy

Spyros Reveliotis

Guest Editor
Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Industrial & Systems Engineering

Spyros Reveliotis

USA Atlanta, GA, United States
 +1 404 894 6608
 +1 404 894 2301


Carla Seatzu

Guest Editor
University of Cagliari, Dep. of Electrical and Electronics Eng.

Carla Seatzu

Italy Italy


Christos G. Cassandras

Guest Editor
Boston University, Center for Inf. and Systems Eng. (CISE), Division of Systems Eng.

Christos G Cassandras

USA United States


Christoforos Hadjicostis

Guest Editor
University of Cyprus, Dep. of Electrical and Computer Eng.

Christoforos Hadjicostis

Cyprus Cyprus


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