Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Abolfazl Razi

Committee Member

Long Cheng

Committee Member

Beshah Ayalew

Committee Member

Jim Martin

Committee Member

Jacob Sorber


The evolution of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs) has given rise to an emergent class of CPSs defined by ad-hoc wireless connectivity, mobility, and resource constraints in computation, memory, communications, and battery power. These systems are expected to fulfill essential roles in critical infrastructure sectors. Vehicular Ad-Hoc Network (VANET) and a swarm of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV swarm) are examples of such systems. The significant utility of these systems, coupled with their economic viability, is a crucial indicator of their anticipated growth in the future. Typically, the tasks assigned to these systems have strict Quality-of-Service (QoS) requirements and require sensing, perception, and analysis of a substantial amount of data. To fulfill these QoS requirements, the system requires network connectivity, data dissemination, and data analysis methods that can operate well within a system's limitations. Traditional Internet protocols and methods for network connectivity and data dissemination are typically designed for well-engineering cyber systems and do not comprehensively support this new breed of emerging systems. The imminent growth of these CPSs presents an opportunity to develop broadly applicable methods that can meet the stated system requirements for a diverse range of systems and integrate these systems with the Internet. These methods could potentially be standardized to achieve interoperability among various systems of the future.

This work presents a solution that can fulfill the communication and data dissemination requirements of a broad class of emergent CPSs. The two main contributions of this work are the Application System (APPSYS) system abstraction, and a complementary communications framework called the Software-Defined NAmed-data enabled Publish-Subscribe (SNAP) communication framework. An APPSYS is a new breed of Internet application representing the mobile and resource-constrained CPSs supporting data-intensive and QoS-sensitive safety-critical tasks, referred to as the APPSYS's mission. The functioning of the APPSYS is closely aligned with the needs of the mission. The standard APPSYS architecture is distributed and partitions the system into multiple clusters where each cluster is a hierarchical sub-network. The SNAP communication framework within the APPSYS utilized principles of Information-Centric Networking (ICN) through the publish-subscribe communication paradigm. It further extends the role of brokers within the publish-subscribe paradigm to create a distributed software-defined control plane. The SNAP framework leverages the APPSYS design characteristics to provide flexible and robust communication and dynamic and distributed control-plane decision-making that successfully allows the APPSYS to meet the communication requirements of data-oriented and QoS-sensitive missions. In this work, we present the design, implementation, and performance evaluation of an APPSYS through an exemplar UAV swarm APPSYS. We evaluate the benefits offered by the APPSYS design and the SNAP communication framework in meeting the dynamically changed requirements of a data-intensive and QoS-sensitive Coordinated Search and Tracking (CSAT) mission operating in a UAV swarm APPSYS on the battlefield. Results from the performance evaluation demonstrate that the UAV swarm APPSYS successfully monitors and mitigates network impairment impacting a mission's QoS to support the mission's QoS requirements.

Author ORCID Identifier




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