New Book from Ptolemy Project

As we continue to investigate the science and engineering of complex, networked systems the ideas summarized in a new book from the Ptolemy project, , may prove to be helpful in current and future projects.

In particular, the Ptolemy II software tools discussed in the (free on-line) book, , are open source and technical descriptions of the tools are widely discussed in the literature linked throughout the text.

The tongue-in-cheek preface by “Claudius Ptolemaeus” is only three pages (ix to xi) but sets the tone for the text which is to provide a sound basis for building predictive models of complex cyber-physical systems. As such, the book provides a summary of one approach for moving towards achieving the central goal of network science – to build predictive models of compositions of complex social/cognitive, information, and communication networks.

Page 4 of the book also provides a nice historical overview of the development of the term “cyber-physical systems” as a means of capturing the interplay between cyberspaces and physical spaces. This would seem to be particularly important given the current attempt to relate older concepts of war fighting doctrine to current ideas of “virtual” effects and “physical” effects and the resulting interplay between syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.

In that regard, since timing of interactions of networked system content is so important, there are long-term implications of the current standards actions to revise the IEEE 1588 timing standard, , and to establish the eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) as a content standard for capturing interactions among elements of the Internet of Things, .

Book details

Claudius Ptolemaeus, Editor,

System Design, Modeling, and Simulation using Ptolemy II,, 2014.

Back cover summary:

This book is a definitive introduction to models of computation for the design of complex, heterogeneous systems. It has a particular focus on cyber-physical systems, which integrate computing, networking, and physical dynamics. The book captures more than twenty years of experience in the Ptolemy Project at UC Berkeley, which pioneered many design, modeling, and simulation techniques that are now in widespread use. All of the methods covered in the book are realized in the open source Ptolemy II modeling framework and are available for experimentation through links provided in the book.

The book is suitable for engineers, scientists, researchers, and managers who wish to understand the rich possibilities offered by modern modeling techniques. The goal of the book is to equip the reader with a breadth of experience that will help in understanding the role that such techniques can play in design.


About Us

The Network Science Center (NSC) brings together service members, civilians, and cadets to research and develop significant contributions in the study of network representations of physical, biological, and social phenomena leading to predictive models. The NSC is a thought-leader in this emerging discipline and addresses Army-specific and related Network Science challenges. The NSC also provides relevant educational opportunities for current and future Army leaders.