Introduction to ASCoMS 2012
The continuous emergence and improvement of sensor and communication technologies creates new opportunities for designing embedded and mobile systems that are able to interact with their environment, and exhibit “smart” and autonomous behaviour. Furthermore, collaboration between mobile entities can also be envisaged for improving their functionality. However, a fundamental challenge is to ensure that safety requirements are satisfied despite the increased system complexity and the uncertainties introduced by the operation in open and not well defined environments. In particular, it is necessary to deal with temporal uncertainties that may affect the environment perception as well as the coordination of mobile entities. In general, the problem might be equated in terms of achieving functional safety. Then, the challenge is to adapt the system to different performance levels as needed to ensure safety according to the existing operational conditions (e.g. system and environment state). In any case, some minimal level of performance is always needed to ensure that safety can be achieved, which should be reflected on the architectural design.