ECEN872: Decision-Making and Supervisory Control of Discrete Event Systems

Instructor: Dr. Ali Karimoddini, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, NC A&T University, Email: akarimod at

Prerequisite: ECEN-668 or equivalent or consent of instructor

Course Overview: Discrete Event Systems (DES) are time abstracted systems which can be described by sequences of events. Modelling and control of discrete event systems can address a wide range of problems in different areas including computer systems, manufacturing systems, robotics, aerospace systems, process control, software engineering, communication networks, smart grids, and system biology. Many applications such as decision making, task allocation, resource allocation, etc can be addressed within the context of discrete event systems. This course therefore studies the modeling and control of Discrete Event Systems, and their applications. Different techniques such as automata theory, language, and Petri Nets will be studied to model discrete event systems. Then, several techniques will be introduced for the design of supervisory control of discrete event systems. Finally, the applications of supervisory control of discrete event systems will be explored.


Topics will include most of the following:

  • Introduction to discrete event systems
    • Modelling of discrete event systems
    • Languages
    • Automata
    • Petri Nets
  • Analysis of discrete event systems
    • Safety
    • Blocking
    • Controllability
    • Observability
  • Synthesis of discrete event systems
    • Feedback control with supervisors
    • Control with partial controllability
    • Control under partial observation
    • Modular control
  • Applications of supervisory control of discrete event systems


  • C.G. Cassandras and S. Lafortune, Introduction to Discrete Event Systems, Springer, 2008.
  • W.M. Wonham, Supervisory Control of Discrete-Event Systems, revised 2013.07.01. [available online at: http:www.control.utoronto.cacgi-bindldes.cgi]