227-0102-00L  Discrete Event Systems

SemesterAutumn Semester 2017
LecturersL. Thiele, L. Vanbever, R. Wattenhofer
Periodicityyearly course
Language of instructionEnglish

Catalogue data

AbstractIntroduction to discrete event systems. We start out by studying popular models of discrete event systems. In the second part of the course we analyze discrete event systems from an average-case and from a worst-case perspective. Topics include: Automata and Languages, Specification Models, Stochastic Discrete Event Systems, Worst-Case Event Systems, Verification, Network Calculus.
ObjectiveOver the past few decades the rapid evolution of computing, communication, and information technologies has brought about the proliferation of new dynamic systems. A significant part of activity in these systems is governed by operational rules designed by humans. The dynamics of these systems are characterized by asynchronous occurrences of discrete events, some controlled (e.g. hitting a keyboard key, sending a message), some not (e.g. spontaneous failure, packet loss).

The mathematical arsenal centered around differential equations that has been employed in systems engineering to model and study processes governed by the laws of nature is often inadequate or inappropriate for discrete event systems. The challenge is to develop new modeling frameworks, analysis techniques, design tools, testing methods, and optimization processes for this new generation of systems.

In this lecture we give an introduction to discrete event systems. We start out the course by studying popular models of discrete event systems, such as automata and Petri nets. In the second part of the course we analyze discrete event systems. We first examine discrete event systems from an average-case perspective: we model discrete events as stochastic processes, and then apply Markov chains and queuing theory for an understanding of the typical behavior of a system. In the last part of the course we analyze discrete event systems from a worst-case perspective using the theory of online algorithms and adversarial queuing.
Content1. Introduction
2. Automata and Languages
3. Smarter Automata
4. Specification Models
5. Stochastic Discrete Event Systems
6. Worst-Case Event Systems
7. Network Calculus
Lecture notesAvailable
Literature[bertsekas] Data Networks
Dimitri Bersekas, Robert Gallager
Prentice Hall, 1991, ISBN: 0132009161

[borodin] Online Computation and Competitive Analysis
Allan Borodin, Ran El-Yaniv.
Cambridge University Press, 1998

[boudec] Network Calculus
J.-Y. Le Boudec, P. Thiran
Springer, 2001

[cassandras] Introduction to Discrete Event Systems
Christos Cassandras, Stéphane Lafortune.
Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999, ISBN 0-7923-8609-4

[fiat] Online Algorithms: The State of the Art
A. Fiat and G. Woeginger

[hochbaum] Approximation Algorithms for NP-hard Problems (Chapter 13 by S. Irani, A. Karlin)
D. Hochbaum

[schickinger] Diskrete Strukturen (Band 2: Wahrscheinlichkeitstheorie und Statistik)
T. Schickinger, A. Steger
Springer, Berlin, 2001

[sipser] Introduction to the Theory of Computation
Michael Sipser.
PWS Publishing Company, 1996, ISBN 053494728X

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits6 credits
ExaminersR. Wattenhofer, L. Thiele, L. Vanbever
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
Course attendance confirmation requiredNo
RepetitionThe performance assessment is only offered in the session after the course unit. Repetition only possible after re-enrolling.
Mode of examinationwritten 120 minutes
Written aidsAny kind of document is allowed (script, slides, own notes, exercises, books). NOT allowed is any electronic device (pocket calculator, mobile phone, laptop)!
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

Main linkInformation
Only public learning materials are listed.


227-0102-00 GDiskrete Ereignissysteme4 hrs
Thu13-17ETZ E 6 »
L. Thiele, L. Vanbever, R. Wattenhofer


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