Discrete Event Systems

Virtual Talk Series 2022


The IEEE CSS TC DES is organizing a Virtual Talk Series on Discrete Event Systems throughout 2022 to enhance communications in our community during the current Covid-19 pandemic. In order to access past talks, you will need to register on the page below under "Registration."

Date & Time:

The talks take place virtually via Zoom on the 3rd Thursday of each month in 2022 (except August, September, December) at 13:00 UTC (Paris 14:00, New York City 8:00, Beijing 21:00). Please see the detailed schedule below.


This year we will organize a variety of events of different forms. The main focus remains talks on cutting-edge topics. In addition, we will hold a panel discussion, a PhD student forum, and talks by authors of recent top journal papers.


Registration is free. For security reasons we require pre-registration. Participants will receive log-in details to the virtual zoom meeting after registration.

register now!




January 20 | 13:00 UTC

Event-Based Reinforcement Learning for Cyber-Physical Energy Systems – Smart Buildings, Smart Grid, and Smart Cities


Cyber physical energy system (CPES) is where information and energy merges together to improve the overall system performance including economic, comfort, and safety aspects. Artificial intelligence which are enabled by internet of things, big data, and cloud computing, has a big role in the optimization of CPES. In this talk, we focus on event- based reinforcement learning (eRL) which makes decisions according to events instead of states. This method provides a scalable solution for large-scale multi-stage decision making problem in which an accurate model may not be available. The performance of this method will be demonstrated by examples in smart buildings, smart micro-grid of buildings, and smart cities, and in particular on the problem of stochastic matching between the renewable power generation and the uncertain charging demand from the plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) in a city. We will also discuss extensions of this method to distributed optimization. We hope this work sheds light to the optimization of CPES.

Qing-Shan (Samuel) Jia

Tsinghua University
February 17 | 13:00 UTC

Talk canceled

March 17 | 13:00 UTC

Fast, Optimal, and Guaranteed Control Synthesis for Autonomous Robots


Rigorous approaches based on formal methods can generate correct-by-construction plans and controllers. By reducing designing and testing cycles, formal synthesis can help create safe autonomous robots that involve complex interactions of dynamics and decision logic. In general, however, synthesis problems are known to have high computational complexity for high dimensional, nonlinear systems and complex tasks. In this talk, I will present a new synthesis approach that suggests that these challenges can be overcome and that rigorous approaches are indeed promising. I will talk about how to synthesize plans and controllers for autonomous systems that are nonlinear, hybrid, multi-agent, and need to follow temporal logic specifications, with guarantees on the safety and optimality of the solutions.

Chuchu Fan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
United States
April 21 | 13:00 UTC

Panel Discussion on DES Tools/Applications

Panelists and software:

1. Martin Fabian
Chalmers University of Technology

2. Lucas Alves
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

3. João Carlos Basilio
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

4. Renyuan Zhang
Northwestern Polytechnical University

5. Rômulo Meira-Góes 
Carnegie Mellon University 

6. Dennis Hendriks
ESI (TNO) and Radboud University Nijmegen

May 19 | 13:00 UTC

Applications of Untimed SCT to Scheduling Problems


In industry, performance must be optimized to allow its competitiveness. Optimization is applied in industry aiming to improve its production performance by using resources at their maximal capacity, by reducing the production time, by making the production flexible to adapt to customer’s requests, among other possible objectives. In the optimization community, the modeling of restrictions is a well-known difficult problem. The integration of optimization methods with the (classical untimed) Supervisory Control Theory is a viable approach to solve scheduling problems in manufacturing systems. The role of the supervisory control theory is to provide the set of all safe production sequences (the restrictions), given by the closed-loop behavior under control. Such behavior becomes the search space of the optimization problem. We will discuss in this talk the work that has been done with classical untimed SCT to assist the solution of makespan optimization in manufacturing systems.

Patrícia Nascimento Pena

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
June 23 | 13:00 UTC

Title TBD



Nir Piterman

Chalmers University of Technology
July 21 | 13:00 UTC

PhD Students Forum

More details to be announced


No event during summer break


No event due to WODES 2022

October 20 | 13:00 UTC

Polynomial-Time Optimal Liveness Enforcement for Guidepath-Based Transport Systems


Guidepath-based transport systems is a popular abstraction for many contemporary applications, from the Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) systems and the overhead monorail systems that are used in many industrial facilities, to the physical transport and processing of the ionized atoms that are the primary information carriers in quantum computing. The management of the traffic that takes place in these environments must be controlled for time- based efficiency, like throughput maximization and delay minimization, but also for more qualitative objectives like the preservation of the system liveness, i.e., the avoidance of potential deadlocks and the preservation of the ability of the system agents to complete successfully their running assignments. These qualitative problems can be rigorously addressed using models and analysis tools borrowed from theoretical computer science and the control- theoretic area of Discrete Event Systems. Their formal investigation also enables the formulation of an “optimal control” version of these problems through the notion of maximal permissiveness. In general, the deployment of maximally permissive liveness-enforcing supervision (LES) is a computationally hard task for most contemporary applications, due to the very large size of the involved state spaces. In this talk, we shall present a rather surprising result that establishes that for a very large and very practical class of the aforementioned transport systems, maximally permissive LES can be attained in time polynomial with respect to the size of the underlying guidepath network.

Spiridon (Spyros) Reveliotis

Georgia Institute of Technology
United States
November 17 | 13:00 UTC

Journal Paper Talks

More details to be announced


No event due to CDC 2022