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ASD - Initiative on Autonomous Systems Design

Rolf Ernst, Technical University Braunschweig, Germany
Dirk Ziegenbein, Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany
Selma Saidi, Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany
Sebastian Steinhorst, Technical University of Munich, Germany

DATE 2023 Initiative on Autonomous Systems Design (ASD)

Fueled by the progress of artificial intelligence, autonomous systems become more and more integral parts of many Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) applications, such as automated driving, robotics, avionics, industrial automation and smart systems in general. Autonomous systems are self-governed and self-adaptive systems that are designed to operate in an open and evolving environment which is not completely defined at design time. This poses a unique challenge to the design and verification of dependable autonomous systems. Following the successful editions from previous years, DATE is again hosting the Initiative on Autonomous Systems together with a workshop. The initiative will include peer-reviewed papers, invited contributions and interactive sessions.

Organizing Committee

  • Rolf Ernst, Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany
  • Dirk Ziegenbein, Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany
  • Selma Saidi, Technical University Dortmund, Germany
  • Sebastian Steinhorst, Technical University Munich, Germany


Full Program

Monday/Tuesday 17-18 April


Second Opening Keynote: (Monday April 17: 11h - 12h30)

Speaker: Dirk Elias from Robert Bosch GmbH.

Title: The Cyber-Physical Metaverse – Where Digital Twins and Humans Come Together



The concept of Digital Twins (DTs) has been discussed intensively for the past couple of years. Today we have instances of digital twins that range from static descriptions of manufacturing data and material properties to live interfaces to operational data of cyber physical systems and the functions and services they provide.

Currently, there are no standardized interfaces to aggregate atomic DTs (e.g., the twin of the lowest-level function of a machine) to higher-level DTs providing more complex services in the virtual world. Additionally, there is no existing infrastructure to reliably link the DTs in the virtual world to the integrated CPSs in the real world (like a car consisting of many ECUs with even more functions).

This keynote will address how the Metaverse  can become the virtual world where DTs of humans and machines live and how to reliably connect DTs to the physical world. Insights in current activities of Bosch Research and its academic partners to move towards this vision will be provided.


Later with the Keynote Speaker: (Monday April 17: 9:45h - 10h30)

Speaker: Dirk Elias from Robert Bosch GmbH. 


Photo of Dirk Elias


Short CV:

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Christian Elias is currently Senior Vice President at Robert Bosch GmbH and heading the Corporate Research Division ‘Advanced Digital’ (CR/AD). The division is focusing its applied research on ICT, SW development and systems engineering and simulation. He also is responsible for the Bosch Research and Technology Center in India. After studying EE at TU Munich he started his career at Fraunhofer Fokus in 1992. In 1996 he received his PhD from TU Berlin. In 2000 he left Fraunhofer and started IVISTAR AG. IVISTAR focused on IoT products for the organization of open offices and provided later also development services for smart home products. In 2008 he left Berlin and started setting up the Fraunhofer Portugal Research Center AICOS and joined the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP) as invited full professor.  



ASD Technical Session 1 (Monday April 17: 11h - 12h30)

Title: Designing Fault tolerant and resilient autonomous systems 

Talk 1: MAVFI: An End-to-End Fault Analysis Framework with Anomaly Detection and Recovery for Micro Aerial Vehicles Yu-Shun Hsiao, Zishen Wan, Tianyu Jia, Radhika Ghosal, Abdulrahman Mahmoud, Arijit Raychowdhury, David Brooks, Gu-Yeon Wei and Vijay Janapa Reddi (yushun_hsiaoatg [dot] harvard [dot] edu (yushun_hsiao[at]g[dot]harvard[dot]edu))

Talk 2: Phalanx: Failure-Resilient Truck Platooning System Changjin Koo, jaegeun park, Ahn TaeWook, Hongsuk Kim, Jong-Chan Kim and Yongsoon Eun (jongchankatkookmin [dot] ac [dot] kr (jongchank[at]kookmin[dot]ac[dot]kr))

Talk 3: Efficient Software-Implemented HW Fault Tolerance for TinyML Inference in Safety-critical Applications Uzair Sharif, Daniel Mueller-Gritschneder, Rafael Stahl and Ulf Schlichtmann (uzair [dot] sharifattum [dot] de (uzair[dot]sharif[at]tum[dot]de))

Talk 4Formal Analysis of Timing Diversity for Autonomous Systems Anika Christmann, Robin Hapka and Rolf Ernst (christmannatida [dot] ing [dot] tu-bs [dot] de (christmann[at]ida[dot]ing[dot]tu-bs[dot]de))


ASD Special Session 1: (Monday April 17: 14h - 15h30) 

Title: Information Processing Factory, Take Two on Self-Aware Systems of MPSoCs

Organizers: Fadi Kurdahi (UCI)

Chair: Bryan Donyanavard, San Diego State University, US

Co-Chair: Smail Niar, UPHF, FR


Abstract: The Information Processing Factory (IPF) project is a collaboration between research teams in the US (UC Irvine) and Germany (TU Munich and TU Braunschweig) looking into Self-aware MPSoCs.  IPF 1.0, was first introduced in ESWEEK 2016 as a paradigm to master complex dependable systems. The IPF paradigm applies principles inspired by factory management to the continuous operation and optimization of highly-integrated embedded systems. IPF 2.0 is an extension of the IPF for recent data-centric approaches and decentralization methodologies. While an IPF 1.0 system can operate independently, IPF 2.0 has a system-of-systems structure in which several IPF 1.0 “factories” interact, thus providing an additional layer of abstraction aimed at this data-centric approach. It horizontally extends core concepts such as self-optimization, self-construction, and runtime verification, while maintaining the strengths of the existing IPF methodology. Four talks in this session highlight the various concepts in IPF 2.0 illustrated through a truck platooning exemplar. 


The talks outline the challenges introduced when moving from self-organizing local systems in IPF 1.0 to autonomous systems collaboration in IPF 2.0, using commercial vehicle platooning as a use case. The first talk explains how the self-aware truck control systems collaborate towards a platoon-level runtime verification that continuously supervises the state of a platoon, even under a changing platoon formation and external disturbance, e.g., by intersecting traffic participants. The second talk outlines the challenges related to managing enormous amounts of dynamic data in the system, and discusses how self-aware caching can help in mastering the resulting communication and data management requirements. The third talk proposes approaches to mitigate the energy cost of data management across multiple systems. The fourth talk addresses lack of explainability in the underlying machine learning technology in collaborative autonomous systems. 


Talk 1: Trust, But Verify: Towards Self-Aware, Safe, Autonomous Self-Driving Systems, Fadi Kurdahi (UCI)

Talk 2: Vehicle as a Cache – A Data Centric Platform for the IPF Paradigm, Rolf Ernst (TUBS)

Talk 3: Computational Self-Awareness for  Energy-Efficient Memory Systems, Nikil Dutt (UCI)

Talk 4: Learning Classifier Tables - Turning ML Decision Making Explainable, Andreas Herkersdorf  (TUM)


ASD Technical Session 2 (Monday April 17: 16h30 - 18h00)

Title: Autonomy for systems perception, control and optimization


Talk 1: Autonomous Hyperloop Control Architecture Design using MAPE-K, Julian Demicoli, Laurin Prenzel and Sebastian Steinhorst 

Talk 2: Reinforcement-Learning-Based Job-Shop Scheduling for Intelligent Intersection Management Shao-Ching Huang, Kai-En Lin, Cheng-Yen Kuo, Li-Heng Lin, Muhammed Omer Sayin and Chung-Wei Lin 

Talk 3: Bio-inspired Autonomous Exploration Policies with CNN-based Object Detection on Nano-drones,  Lorenzo Lamberti, Luca Bompani, Victor Javier Kartsch Morinigo, Manuele Rusci, Daniele Palossi and Luca Benini 

Talk 4: Butterfly Effect Attack: Tiny and Seemingly Unrelated Perturbations for Object Detection Nguyen Anh Vu Doan, Arda Yueksel and Chih-Hong Cheng 


ASD Panel Session (Monday April 17: 18h30 - 20h00)

Title: Autonomous Systems Design as a Driver of Innovation?

Organizers: Rasmus Adler, Peter Liggesmeyer ( Fraunhofer IESE, Germany)

Abstract: Autonomous systems have high potential in many application domains. However, most discussions seem to take place with respect to autonomous road vehicles.  Automotive industry promised substantial progress in this field but many predictions have not come true. Companies stepped back and corrected their predictions. Does this mean, systems autonomy is not ready to drive innovation? However, autonomous behavior is obviously not limited to road vehicles. Various kinds of systems can benefit from autonomous behavior in various domains such as health and pharmaceutics, energy, manufacturing, farming, mining and so on. In this session, we will thus take a broader perspective on autonomous system design as a driver of innovation and discuss benefits, challenges, and risks in various application domains.



Prof. Karl-Erik Årzén 

Prof. Martin Fränzle - Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg

Dr. Arne Hamann- Chief Expert Distributed Intelligent Systems, Corporate Research Robert Bosch GmbH

Prof. Davy Pissoort – KU Leuven Faculty of Engineering Technology

Dr. Claus Bahlmann - Head of R&D Department AI, Siemens, Mobility Division, Technology & Innovation

Dr. Christoph Schulze – Technology Expert from "the Autonomous"




ASD focus Session 1 (Tuesday  April 18: 08h30 - 10h00)

Title: Autonomy-driven Emerging Directions in Software-defined Vehicles

Organizers: Markus Joachim and S. Ramesh (General Motors, USA)

Abstract: Over the past two decades, the volume of electronics and software in cars have grown tremendously. There is now widespread consensus that more than 90% of the innovation in modern vehicles is driven by them. But this growth has also resulted in hardware and software architectures that are proving to be a bottleneck for further innovation and efficient design flows, especially when implementing compute-intensive functions necessary for autonomous features. Another emerging trend in the domain of automotive software is the need for continuous improvement and continuous deployment (CI/CD) of functionality, that is enabled by Over-The-Air (OTA) capability. The goal of this special session is to discuss these new trends, the resulting challenges, and explore emerging solutions and directions in the broad area of design, development, and verification of software-defined vehicles. The three talks will highlight different aspects of software-defined vehicle designs, what research challenges they pose, and how they would impact the future automotive design ecosystem.


Talk1Impacts of Service Oriented Communication on SDV architectures, Prachi Joshi (General Motors R&D, USA)

Talk 2: “Shift-Left” Development and Validation of Software Defined Vehicles with a Virtual Platform, Unmesh Bordoloi (Siemens, USA)

Talk 3: Design Tools for Assured Autonomy, Samarjit Chakraborty (UNC Chapel Hill, USA)


ASD focus Session 2 (Tuesday  April 18: 11h - 12h30)

Title: SelPhys: Self-awareness in Cyber-physical Systems

Organizers: Lukas Esterle (Aarhus University, DK), Axel Jantsch (TU Wien, AT)

Abstract: Computational self-awareness enables autonomous systems to operate in rapidly unfolding situations and conditions that have not been considered during development. Cyber-physical systems, constantly interacting with the physical world, have to deal with an even wider spectrum of potentially unknown situations introduced in their environment, including other (autonomous) systems and humans. Their ability to respond appropriately is vital for these systems not only to achieve their goals but also to ensure the safety of other machines and humans in the process. In this special session, we will have various invited talks on different aspects of computational self-awareness and its contribution to autonomous systems design. Specifically, we aim to have talks ranging from fundamental theory on computational self-awareness, over signal processing, embedded and high-performance computing, towards applications utilising self-aware properties for increased safety and performance. After the short presentations, the presenters will be invited to participate in a panel discussion together with the audience.

Talk1“Self-Aware Machine Intelligence”, Peter R. Lewis (Ontario University of Technology, Canada)

Talk2”Incremental Self-Awareness Based on Free Energy Minimization for Autonomous Agents”, Carlo Regazzoni and and Lucio Marcenaro (University of Genova)

Talk3“Adaptive, Resilient Computing Platforms through Self-Awareness”, Nikil Dutt (University of California, Irvine)

Talk4“Cognitive Energy Systems”:, Christian Gruhl (University of Kassel)




ASD Workshop (Tuesday  April 18: 14h - 18h00): Can Autonomous Systems Be Safe?

Despite the advancement of machine learning and artificial intelligence, safety still constitutes a main hurdle for supporting high levels of autonomy in domains such as self-driving cars, where thousands of car accidents involving autonomous functionalities are reported every year.  There are many more examples where autonomous systems reliability and safety are core requirements, from robotics, trains or UAVs all the way to large systems-of-systems, such as the smart grid. The design of safety-critical and high-reliability systems is governed by strict regulations covering the whole product life cycle, from conception to production to deployment and maintenance. The design process according to safety standards typically assumes a correct and complete system specification. For autonomous systems, it is often impossible to show that the specification is complete, due to the underspecified environment and evolving, and often emerging, behaviour. Verification and test of autonomous systems, as well as monitoring safety goals in operation, are huge system design challenges. The set-backs in ambitious autonomous driving goals raise the question if systems autonomy is an appropriate concept for safety critical systems at all. On the other hand, systems autonomy with advanced capabilities, such as self-protection or self-awareness in decision making, might help to control risk under uncertainty and change, and might become an asset and even an enabler for critical complex systems design. So, guaranteeing safety emerges as challenging, but central topic in the design of autonomous systems. 

This year, the workshop offers a unique opportunity for participants to contribute to the discussion and be part of a community working on the design of autonomous systems. 

The workshop will start with introductory talks by experts from academia and industry that will highlight main challenges for safe systems autonomy and applications. After that, there is an opportunity for a limited number of short pitches (ca. 3 min) where workshop participants can give a statement about the main challenging question of “Can Autonomous Systems Be Safe?”, an abstract of the topic is available below. Statements can be on your research topics, practical issues, limitations, visions, or design ideas and suggestions.  The short talks will be arranged in thematic blocks, followed by a discussion each.

The last part will be an open discussion with all presenters of the workshop and the audience.  In the end, the results will be summarized in a report that will be made available to the workshop participants. 

14h00 - 15h30:

  • 14h00: Opening and Welcoming
  • 14h15: Collective Reasoning for Safe Autonomous Systems Design, Selma Saidi, Professor of Embedded Systems, TU Dortmund University, Germany
    • Abstract:  Collaboration in multi-agent autonomous systems (AS) is critical to increase performance while ensuring safety. However, due to differences in e.g., perception qualities, some AS should be considered more trustworthy than others to contribute building collaboratively a common environmental model, especially during disagreement.  We discuss in this talk increase reliability of autonomous systems by relying on collective knowledge. We borrow concepts from social epistemology to exploit individual characteristics of autonomous systems, and define and formalize rules for collective reasoning to achieve collaboratively increased safety,  trustworthiness and good decision-making under uncertainty.
  • 14h30: Limitation-aware designs – a road towards safer systems in complex environments, Peter Schneider,  Safety Expert @Bosch Research,  Robert Bosch GmbH 
    • Abstract: The development of safe autonomous driving systems (ADS) revealed many interdependent design challenges that often cannot simply be solved one-by-one (or measure-by-measure) but need more holistic solution approaches. Traditionally automotive safety engineering relies a lot on composing safe systems from well-defined and intrinsically safe components. For systems that operate in constantly changing environments, finding a practical and safe ‘one-size-fits-all’-solution via static designs and the traditional safety engineering toolbox becomes increasingly hard. Hence, instead of further and further tweaking single components to potentially reach ‘safety-grade’ reliability at some point (or risking getting lost in the long-tail problem), we propose to set a stronger research focus on safety engineering tools and technologies that support the creation of limitation-aware and adaptive system designs which are able to dynamically handle component limitations, without compromising on the system application’s safety goals. In order to illustrate some of the aforementioned challenges in a practical example, this talk will discuss a few of the interdisciplinary design challenges in the development of a safe ADS environment sensing system. Furthermore, different possible solution strategies are discussed on how to potentially enhance the system’s ‘safety-by-design’ via limitation modelling, design automation and safety-oriented compensation of limitations through interactions with other systems. 
  • 14h45: Safety Cases for Autonomous Systems,  Richard Hawkins,  Senior Research Fellow, Assuring Autonomy International Programme (AAIP), Department of Computer Science, University of York, UK
    • Abstract:  Demonstrating sufficient safety is challenging for all systems, but is even more so for autonomous systems (AS). Autonomy increases uncertainty in the safe operation of autonomous systems, particularly when operating  in complex, dynamic and open environments; the pace of technological change in AS also tends to be greatly increased; in addition there is little established best practice to guide safety assurance activities. In this talk I will discuss how safety cases provide a means to address these uncertainties and provide confidence in the safety of an AS by providing explicit safety arguments supported by evidence. I will discuss guidance we have developed at the University of York on the assurance activities to be undertaken and the evidence required to be generated to create a compelling safety case for an AS.
  • 15h00: First Round of Statements
    • Opening Statement: Digital Twins Enabling Safe Autonomy, Unmesh Bordoloi, Siemens Mentor
  • 15h30: Coffee Break
  • 16h00: Second Round of Statements
  • 16h30: Panel Discussion
  • 17h30: Summary of the Workshop and Closing



Call for Papers

Areas of Interest

We welcome your contributions within the scope of the event. The main areas of interest include but are

not limited to the following:

  • Concepts, Algorithms and Formal Methods for Autonomy
  • Platforms for Autonomous Systems
  • Architectures (from Chip Level to System Level) for Autonomous Systems
  • Middleware and Frameworks (e.g., ROS) for Autonomous Systems
  • Models and HW/SW Mechanisms for Self-Awareness and Self-Adaptation
  • Design of Autonomous Systems
  • Mastering Emergent and Evolving Behavior (Goals, Constraints, ...)
  • Design, Verification and Test of High-Assurance Learning-Enabled Systems
  • Design Automation and Methodologies for Autonomous Systems
  • Dependability and Trustworthy Autonomy
  • Functional Safety and Assurance Cases for Evolving and Learning-Enabled Systems
  • HW/SW Mechanisms for Resilient Systems
  • Autonomous Systems Security
  • Applications and Case Studies of Autonomous Systems

Types of Contributions

Conference Papers:

The special initiative features regular sessions for presenting novel technical contributions. Submitted papers will undergo a peer-review process and accepted papers will appear in the DATE conference

proceedings. All manuscripts should be submitted in pdf format not exceeding 6 pages, following the DATE submission instructions. Detailed submission instructions can be found here:

  • Abstract Submission: 06 November 2022 AoE
  • Full Paper Submission: 13 November 2022 AoE
  • Acceptance Notification: 18 December 2022 AoE


Special Sessions / Panels:

We additionally solicit proposals for special sessions, panel discussions and invited talks, targeting emerging challenges in the field of autonomous systems, especially that are of interest to the DATE conference participants. Special Session proposals must consist of a title of the session, a summary of up to 500 words in a PDF file, describing the topic, (preferably confirmed) authors/speakers, and the intended format.

Submission deadline is 13 November 2022.


Submission Instructions

All submissions should follow the DATE proceedings submission instructions. Please submit your contribution at


Workshop Interactive Day Contributions

The workshop Interactive Day will feature highly interactive sessions on emerging or controversial hot topics in the scope of the ASD initiative. We also encourage sessions on business trends or public policies. The form of a session can be a special session with invited talks and panel discussions, leaving enough room for interaction among the participants. Sessions on industrial perspectives, prototypes and demos are also highly welcome.