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About The Cyber Physical Engineering (eCliPSE) Group's Research
Conventionally, people think of computers as devices that operate on data. Even when they are used to control physical devices (robots, machines, air craft, etc.) they are most often thought of as collecting sensor data, operating on that data to make decisions, and then sending command data back to the controlled device.
That way of thinking is only correct to a degree of approximation. Often, we ignore that the "controlled devices" themselves might effect the "controlling computers" via indirect means that are not easily anticipated. Further, sometimes one might construct machines that change themselves based on what happens to them while they are in service. In either case, because the "controlled devices" also exert some effect and/or impose changes on the "controlling computers". The resulting loops of cause and effect can be quite complex, presenting huge challenges in prediction or faults and repair of damage...