Eötvös Loránd University
Cyber-physical systems – distributed computing systems that combine computer networks with embedded devices interacting with the physical world are gaining importance and the need for such systems is growing. Significant advances have been made in programming large numbers of communicating tiny computers, such as sensor networks, in the past decade, however the progress has not been as fast as it was expected. The slow advancement of these systems is due to several reasons. Sensor networks are in close interaction with the physical world, having to react to the stimuli received from the physical world and in addition the computers in these systems are in interaction with each other, as the configuration of the system is not known before the system is operational these interactions cannot be specified beforehand. The computation in these systems depends on the current and past interactions and is therefore different from that of classical computing systems. Distributed computing systems consisting of a large number of nodes connected to the real world also tend to exhibit emergent behaviour which the current state of the art is not able to predict. This article proposes that using situation information in the computation may be part of the answer for solving some of the problems described above. This paper presents some examples of what can be considered situation information and how this situation information can be used in the computation. The paper also presents a general architecture for collecting and organizing situation information.