Editorial, Automatica, April 1997, Volume 33, No. 4
Hybrid systems are dynamical systems that include both continuous and discrete components and that therefore behave partly as continuous systems and partly as finite automata. As the "continuous" and "discrete" worlds are being integrated in ongoing technological innovations, hybrid models are used more and more in spite of their inherent complexity. Engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians are dealing with these models in various and sometimes ad hoc ways, and there is a pressing need for the development of systematic ways of analyzing and designing hybrid systems.
Hybrid features are present in particular in many control systems. Such features may occur simply as a result of hardware restrictions (for instance on/off control) or may be introduced intentionally, such as in switching controllers. In other applications one may want to use hybrid models to describe the interaction of a discrete decision layer and a continuous implementation layer, or the coordination of continuous processes through discrete communication channels. It may also occur that the controlled process itself exhibits hybrid features, as a result of fast transitions or unilateral constraints. Typical application areas include robot task planning, air traffic control, digital control, and chemical processes.
The Automatica special issue on Hybrid Systems aims at covering the modeling, dynamics, and control of hybrid systems arising in a variety of disciplines, with the objective of finding common paradigms that can be the basis of fruitful further study in the coming years. Papers are invited that develop systematic methods for the analysis and design of hybrid systems. This includes papers describing applications with a clear analysis of the ingredients of success, as well as more theoretical papers identifying classes of hybrid systems that are particularly amenable to analysis.
The special issue will be prepared by a team consisting of guest editors
and Automatica Editor-in-Chief Huibert Kwakernaak (University of Twente).
Authors are invited to send seven (7) copies of their paper to
J. M. Schumacher
P. O. Box 94079
1090 GB Amsterdam
The deadline for submission of manuscripts is September 30,
1997. The expected publication date for the special issue is