The Central Role of Physical Modeling in Systems Design

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 4:00pm to Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 3:55pm

Event Calendar Category

LIDS Seminar Series

Speaker Name

Albert Benveniste



Building and Room Number



Physical modeling has been used for decades by control engineers, albeit for "simple" systems that can be concisely described by a math model (one or a few equations possibly involving many variables). Real systems are now complex enough so that developing models for them may represent the largest part of the design effort. Engineer friendly formalisms have become central to this activity, e.g., Simulink and Modelica. The need for model reuse has led to the development of formalisms supporting modeling from first principles -- e.g., Modelica. Such formalisms must support not only ODEs but also DAEs (Differential Algebraic Equations) and discontinuities. So far modeling is mainly used for simulation and exploration, and, to a lesser extend (and for smaller subsystems) for control and monitoring. In my presentation, I shall advocate the use of physical modeling techniques for system level safety analysis and system-level monitoring and I shall develop a new kind of structural analysis that properly scale up to large complex systems.


Albert Benveniste was born in 1949. He graduated in 1971 from Ecole des Mines de Paris. He performed his These d'Etat in Mathematics, probability theory, in 1975, under the supervision of Paul-Andréeyer. From 1976 to 1979 he was associate professor in mathematics at Universite de Rennes 1. From 1979 to 2014 he has been Directeur de Recherche at INRIA, where he is now an emeritus. In 1980 Albert Benveniste was co-winner of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control Best Transaction Paper Award for his paper on blind deconvolution in data communications. In 1990 he received the CNRS silver medal, in 1991 he has been elected IEEE Fellow, and in 2013 he has been elected IFAC Fellow. In 2008 he was winner of the Grand Prix France Telecom of the French Academy of Sciences. From 1994 to 1996 he has been Directeur Scientifique (Senior Chief Scientist) at INRIA. From 1997 to 2001, he has been chairman of the "software chapter" of the RNRT funding programme of the French ministeries for research and telecommunications, for telecommunications (Reseau National de la Recherche en Telecommunications). Since 1997, he has been responsible for INRIA of the joint Alcatel-INRIA research programme and is now chief scientist of the joint Bell Labs-INRIA research lab. He is member of the scientific board of INRIA, in charge of embedded systems area. He has been member of the advisory board of T-Source, a venture capitalist specialist in seed capital for the telecommunications sector. He is a member of the scientific advisory boards of Safran Group and Orange. From June 2011 to March 2014, he was co-heading the Center of Excellence (Labex) CominLabs in the area of telecommunications and information systems. He has been elected to the Acadée des Technologies in December 2011.

Most active topics of interest are:

  • DAE-based hybrid systems modeling
  • Computer engineering; requirement engineering and design by contracts based on formal methods
  • Networked systems for embedded aeronautics; currently a member of the scientific council of Safran Group