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Co-Design of Complex Systems: From Autonomy to Future Mobility

Event Type
Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, Dept. Head office
Room 303, Transportation Building
Feb 27, 2023   10:00 - 11:00 am  
Gioele Zardini
BuuLinh Quach
Originating Calendar
ISE Faculty Candidates

*Presentation will be recorded.


When designing sociotechnical systems, we need to consider multiple trade-offs at various abstraction levels and scales, and choices of single components need to be studied jointly.  For instance, the design of future mobility solutions (e.g., autonomous vehicles, micromobility) and the design of the mobility systems they enable are closely coupled. Indeed, knowledge about the intended service of novel mobility solutions would impact their design and deployment process, whilst insights about their technological development could significantly affect transportation management policies.

Optimally co-designing sociotechnical systems is a complex task for at least two reasons. On one hand, the co-design of interconnected systems (e.g., large networks of cyber-physical systems) involves the simultaneous choice of components arising from heterogeneous natures (e.g., hardware vs. software parts) and fields, while satisfying systemic constraints and accounting for multiple objectives. On the other hand, components are connected via collaborative and conflicting interactions between different stakeholders (e.g., within an intermodal mobility system). In this talk, I will present a framework to co-design complex systems, leveraging a monotone theory of co-design and tools from game theory.  The framework will be instantiated in the task of designing future mobility systems, all the way from the policies that a city can design, to the autonomy of vehicles part of an autonomous mobility-on-demand service.  Through various case studies, I will show how the proposed approach allows one to solve heterogeneous problems, unifying different modeling techniques and promoting interdisciplinarity, modularity, and compositionality. I will then discuss open challenges for compositional sociotechnical systems design optimization, and present my agenda to tackle them.


Gioele Zardini is a Ph.D. Candidate in Emilio Frazzoli’s group at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, ETH Zurich. He received his BSc. and MSc. in Mechanical Engineering with focus in Robotics, Systems and Control from ETH Zurich in 2017 and 2019, respectively.  He spent time in Singapore as a researcher at nuTonomy (then Aptiv, now Motional), at Stanford University (working with Marco Pavone) and at MIT (in 2020 working with David Spivak, and currently with Munther Dahleh).

Driven by societal challenges, the goal of his research is to develop efficient computational tools and algorithmic approaches to formulate and solve complex, interconnected system design and autonomous decision making problems. His research interests include the co-design of complex systems, compositionality in engineering, applied category theory, planning and control, and game theory, with applications to intelligent transportation systems, autonomy, and complex networks and infrastructures. 

He is the recipient of a paper award at the 4th Applied Category Theory Conference, and of the Best Paper Award (1st Place) at the 24th IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC).  For more details, check out

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