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CSC3634 : Fault Tolerant and Cyber-Physical Systems

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Stephen Riddle
  • Lecturer: Dr Ken Pierce
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module aims to provide an overview of the concepts of reliability, and fault tolerance, with a particular focus on cyber-physical systems (CPSs). We provide a systems approach to the design, evaluation and implementation fault tolerance in CPSs and other computer systems, exemplified by case studies of present-day systems.
This module will introduce the student to the principles of system dependability, fault tolerance, and CPSs. It motivates the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to the design of CPS, the need for a systems approach to fault tolerance, and the use of modelling and simulation to support these.

Outline Of Syllabus

An overview of system dependability and cyber-physical system concepts.
The need for reliability techniques for achieving reliability.
The need for a multi-disciplinary systems approach to the design of modern systems.
Fault tolerance principles, implementations and limitations.
Error detection and error recovery techniques.
Software and hardware fault tolerance.
An introduction to real-time control and controller tuning.
Usage of VDM-RT and 20-sim for modelling cyber and physical components.
Usage of collaborative model-based design and co-simulation for cyber-physical systems.
Real-world case studies on fault tolerance and CPSs.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture441:0044:00Lectures (Present in Person)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion151:0015:00Coursework write-up
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Revision for final exam and exam duration
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical111:0011:00Practicals for CPS (Present in Person)
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities42:008:00Guided tool exercises to introduce technologies for coursework
Guided Independent StudyProject work110:0010:00Formative exercises in Fault Tolerance
Guided Independent StudyProject work151:0015:00Practical coursework
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops111:0011:00Workshop for Fault Tolerance (Present in Person)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study491:0049:00Background reading
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study221:0022:00Lecture follow-up
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Techniques and theory are presented in lectures. Supervised practicals on a PC cluster room/workshops in a seminar space provide experience of applying techniques with help available. Further practical work takes place during the private study hours.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination901A50Examination (in person)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M50Co-modelling exercise and report (2000 words)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report1MShort non-assessed exercises in fault tolerance and modelling techniques
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination emphasizes assessment of the Fault Tolerance parts of the course and assesses understanding and application of techniques. The co-modelling coursework focuses on the CPS aspects, but incorporates faults and fault tolerance aspects to provide a coherent approach to assessment.

Formative (non-assessed) exercises in fault tolerance provide experience in applying the techniques, and formative exercises in CPS introduce tools and techniques required to complete the coursework.

N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 35%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 35%.

Reading Lists