Assignment 1

Due Date

Friday, May 29, 2015 (i.e., Saturday before 1 am)


  • Introduction to continuous evolution
  • Introduction to feedback systems
  • Introduction to system dynamics
  • Introduction to ultra-large-scale (ULS) systems
  • Introduction to cyber-physical systems
  • Introduction to emergent behaviour
  • Introduction to sensors and their APIs


This assignment consists of three parts. In Part I you are to characterize three feedback systems. In Part II you are to deepen your understanding of ULS systems. In Part III is a group assignment on sensor APIs.

Part I

Identify three (3) feedback systems from different application areas that you encounter in your everyday life. For each system, identify the type of feedback (e.g., positive, negative, or bipolar), identify the sensing and actuation mechanisms as well as the algorithm used in the controller. Describe in detail the underlying model and its assumptions. Describe the uncertainty that the feedback system provides. Describe the dynamics that are controlled through the use of feedback. At least two of the three examples should be software-intensive systems. Graduate students are strongly encouraged to pick at least one system from their research area.

Recommended reading materials
The answer for each feedback system should fit onto approximately one typeset page.

Maximum 3 typeset pages for this part

Do not copy verbatim from any source. Write your own prose.
Cite your sources.

Part II

Study the following book on Ultra-Large-Scale Systems (ULS)
  • Northrop, L., Feiler, P., Gabriel, R., Goodenough, J., Linger, R., Longstaff, T., Kazman, R., Klein, M., Schmidt, D., Sullivan, K., Wallnau, K.: Ultra-Large-Scale Systems. The Software Challenge of the Future. Technical Report, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 134 pages ISBN 0-9786956-0-7 (2006)
  1. What are the main characteristics of a ULS system?
  2. Contrast centralized and decentralized control.
  3. Describe two selected challenges for the design and evolution of ULS systems in detail.
Maximum 2 typeset pages for this part

Do not copy verbatim from any source.
Cite your sources.

Part III - Group Project (3 people max per group)

  1. Identify and describe sensor APIs for different platforms (e.g., different operating systems).
    Pick an interesting category of sensors or sensor network and describe its API in detail.
  2. Design, implement and document a simple application using this API.
  3. Describe how this API and your application can be transitioned to a cloud computing environment.
All group members have to work on all three parts together. Learn from each other!
Articulate how the individual group members contributed to Part III.

Submission details:
  • Maximum 3 typeset pages for this part
  • Submit a short video of no more than 5 minutes explaining your implementation and showing a demo of your application. NOTE: It is recommended that you upload the video in some external repository (e.g., Dropbox or Google Drive) and submit the access link.
You only need to submit one document and video per group.
Do not copy verbatim from any source.
Cite your sources.

The name listed first in each group is the coordinator of the groups (e.g., arrange meetings). Each group member is expected to contribute equally to the group projects.


Ernest Aaron, Adel Adil, Luuk Veenis


Maryi Arciniegas Mendez, Navdeep Bahia, Richard Wagner


Simar Arora, Miles Barr, Evan Wilde


Jonathan Bowen, David Bayly, Elliot Wyman


Erkan Ersan, Zhenyu Zhang, Pufan Zheng


Maria Ferman Guerra, Jason Cho, Zhanxue Zhu


Khushboo Gandhi, Mohammad Bin Abdulsalam, Ian Leslie


Harneet Kaur, Timothy Dalton, Sahibdeep Sran


Francis Harrison,  Jorge Conde Gomez Llanos


Stephan Heinemann, Sean Debroni, Tory Borsboom-Hanson


Harshit Jain, Rodney Gelera, John Cox


Sumit Kadyan, Fraser DeLisle


Navpreet Kaur, Zhuoli Xiao, Adnan Duale


Parminder Kaur, Abhinandan Jagdev, Dustin Faulkner


Waseem Khan, Anthony Kohan, Xiaotian Li


Nishant Khanna, Patrick Lavoie, Connor McConkey


Carlene LeBeuf, Siqi Li, Darren Prince


Ye Liang, Simon Taft


Junnan Lu, Colum McClay, Jiashu Xiong


Adithya Rathakrishnan, MacKay McGillivray, Jason Yu


 Arturo Reyes Lopez, Mohammed Nader Zuhri Yafi


 Babak Tootoonchi, Daniel Oon, Muhammad Zubair


 Sam Wang, Samuel Navarrete

How to submit

Send e-mail with solution in pdf format to Ensure e-mail subject line is in the following format:


and filename is in the following format:


where course_number is either seng480a, csc485a, or csc586a. 

subject: seng480a-A1
filename: seng480a-john-doe-v00666.pdf

For Part III, the person submitting for the group must include the list of their group members in the following format:


This list should be added at the end of Part III i.e.: inside the pdf.


Part I is worth 35%; Part II 35%; and Part III 30%.