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Tutorial 2: Building a Foundation for Continual System Engineering and Self-improvement in Complex Systems

Date: Friday the November 14th, 2014 – 10:30-17:30

Location: Salon to be precised, Hotel des Arts et Métiers at 9bis ave d’Iéna 75016 Paris

Speakers: Kirstie Bellman, Ph.D., Chris Landauer, Ph.D., Topcy House Consulting and Phyllis R. Nelson, Ph.D., California State Polytechnic University - USA


This tutorial shows how to build systems with enough self-information to decide when and how to adapt to new situations, and how to construct, analyze, and communicate models of their operational environments with their human handlers. Systems engineering of such systems faces unique challenges.

Our goal is to make semi- and fully-autonomous computing systems that can be trusted to beappropriately situation aware, so they can act as our partners forcontinual verification and validation as they perform complex tasks in complex, hazardous, distributed, remote, and poorly-characterized environments. These same capabilities can enable a system tocontinually discover and autonomously implement strategies forimproving its performance. They also can enable a system to be a well-behaved part of a system of systems.

The tutorial presents tools we have developed for implementing such self-x capabilites and gives examples of their use in our test bed. The tutorial also discusses the portions of the systems engineering process that cannot be automated, and discusses best practices for developing appropriate specifications.


  • 10:30-12:30: Session I
  • 12:30-14:00: Lunch Break
  • 14:00-15:30: Session II
  • 15:30-16:00: Coffee break
  • 16:00-17:30: Session III

Please find short biographies of the speakers:


Kirstie Bellman

Dr. Kirstie L. Bellman is a Principal Scientist in the Computer Systems Division and head of the Aerospace Integration Sciences Center (AISC), which she started upon returning to The Aerospace Corporation, a not-for-profit, federally-funded research and development center, after four years at DARPA. AISC’s focus is on the development of advanced system and model integration methods, new analytic techniques, and evaluation tools for assessing the impacts of new technologies. Upon completion of her term as a DARPA Program Manager for the Domain-Specific Software Architectures (DSSA) program, Prototech (rapid prototyping technology and formally-based specification languages), projects in the Computer Science Formal Foundations program, and the large Computer-Aided Education and Training Initiative (CAETI), she received an award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense for excellence in her programs. Recently, she received the 2008 Award in Technology from the Telluride Technology Festival. Other past awardees include Vint Cerf, Murray Gellman, Charles Townes, and Freeman Dyson. Dr. Bellman has over thirty-five years of academic, industrial, and consulting experience in both laboratory research and the development of models and information architectures for large military and government programs. Her published research spans a wide range of topics in Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and Computer Science. Recently with both national and international partners, she is combining her work on reflective architectures (that use meta-knowledge and models to manage their own resources and to reason dynamically about appropriate behavior) with European Organic Computing approaches that emphasize the self-organizational properties of biologically-inspired architectures and operating systems


Phyllis R. Nelson

Dr. Phyllis R. Nelson is the Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and co-Director of the Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Materials Design at California State Polytechnic University Pomona. She has over thirty-five years of professional experience including positions at Hughes Aircraft Company, TRW, Phraxos Research, UCLA, and Universite Claude Bernard - Lyon 1, as well as consulting for a variety of start-ups. Her current research applies reflective architectures, self-x strategies, and biologically-inspired approaches to the challenges of multi-agent cyberphysical systems of systems.


Chris Landauer

Christopher Landauer is a mathematician (Ph.D. 1973, Caltech) in the Computers and Software Division of The Aerospace Corporation, working on new theories, methods, practices, and tools for software and system integration. He has been at Aerospace since 1981, and has worked on a wide range of mathematical applications, computational studies, program and design reviews, and tool developments and evaluations. He is also a mathematics and software systems consultant for the Aerospace Integration Science Center, a cross-departmental research organization within The Aerospace Corporation. He has over forty-five years experience in applying mathematical methods to computing problems, with over 150 related publications in mathematics, computer science, computational semiotics, and applied linguistics.

He is also a Principal in Topcy House Consulting, developing, sometimes even inventing, and applying mathematical and computational theories and methods in many technical areas, including complex system modeling and analysis, development of theoretically sound modeling notations for complex system modeling (and their interpreters),Intelligent infrastructure for dynamic integration of complex systems, exploratory pattern analysis and recognition, natural language processing,and whatever else seems interesting.

Contact: Dr. Christopher Landauer Aerospace Integration Science Center - The Aerospace Corporation - Email:

Price & Registration:

  • Price to register to a tutorial: 390 euros (does not include lunch which have to be taken as extra-service)
  • You can register only to a tutorial and not participate to other plenary and parallel sessions of the conference CSD&M
  • Click here after to access directly to the online registration form