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1993 …2022

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Personal profile

Research interests

I’ve started my research career within the field of Microelectronics back in the early nineties mainly focused to developing physical-design kits for the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona – National Center of Microelectronics (IMB-CNM). Those kits included tools able to automatically extract circuit functionality from transistor netlists for its verification and to generate appropriate information for testing. These tools were the result of my research on symbolic simulation of switch-level circuits, with original contributions in multi-valued logics, complex Boolean operations such as derivatives and techniques for incremental simulation of logic circuits.

    As the output of the symbolic simulation includes identification of the logic function of the simulated circuit, the research turned into methods and tools for formal verification of higher abstraction level specifications of circuits, which later evolved into verification of HW/SW systems, and of embedded systems. Indeed, from the mid-nineties to the early 2000’s, the main contributions from this research were techniques for describing the behavior of systems for simulation and synthesis into both software and hardware, and a set of examples that included small processors that have been used in education ever since.

    As a spin-off of this research, a formal specification of systems in terms of nets of extended finite-state machines was proposed that is easily translated into hardware descriptions and software. The related design methodologies are taught in Computer Fundamentals and Embedded Systems courses, respectively.

    In 2004, I’ve created a research group on “software-hardware agent-based distributed embedded systems” (SHADES) to investigate further on the methods and techniques to develop this kind of systems and we undertook a research project on colonies of collaborative nano-robots. As a result, we obtained behavioral models of the robots, as well as simulators of such systems. The main contribution of the research had been a specific system architecture for the colony of robots that we exploited later.

    Indeed, the SHADES group turned into looking for control architectures for multi-robot systems that grasped the interest of several companies that use (SEAT) or produce (Artisteril, Kivnon) mobile robots for intralogistics solutions. In that area, original methods for synchronizing real robot systems with system simulation (How to use simulators based on multi-agents for SCADA in industrial applications. PhD Thesis by I.F. Chaile-Alfaro, School of Engineering. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 5 Feb. 2016), for continuous identification of plant parameters (Adaptive multi-robot control through on-line parameter identification at system level. PhD Thesis by P. Das, School of Engineering. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 15 May 2018), and for task allocation (Execution-driven Dynamic Multi-Robot Task Allocation Model easily Applicable to Real Cases. PhD Thesis by D. Rivas, School of Engineering. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 8 Feb. 2023) have been developed.

    At the same time, a full methodology for implementation of state-based models has been perfected from the experience, including the development of an extensive set of examples for teaching embedded systems and close subjects such as cyber-physical or multi-agent systems.

    In that area, I’ve proposed a superset of EFSM, so-called extended finite-state stack machines (EFS2M), close to pushdown automata, to make it easy to represent deliberative as well as reactive levels of agents in a system and, at the same time, be compatible with the verification, simulation and SW/HW synthesis methods we have developed.

    In the recent years, I have pushed forward the use of EFS2M nets to model any kind of behaviors, including controllers [D. Rivas, P. Das, J. Saiz-Alcaine, Ll. Ribas-Xirgo. ‘Synthesis of Controllers from Finite State Stack Machine Diagrams’. IEEE 23rd International Conf. on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA). 4-7 Sept. 2018. Torino (Italy). DOI: 10.1109/ETFA.2018.8502451], data-processing algorithms, and processors (instruction-interpreting algorithms). For instance, by mimicking our multi-agent system architecture, I’ve developed a simulator to help analyzing not only internal traffic in factories and warehouses but also in urban areas.

    Currently, I’m also a member of the Custom Intelligent Computing Systems (CICS) research group, funded by the Direcció General de Recerca de la Generalitat de Catalunya, under grant no. 2021SGR01623_CVC (2022-2024).


    Co-author [RDSR18] and tutor of Daniel Rivas, recipient of IEEE IES-SYPA AWARD for the IEEE ETFA'18 conference. IEEE IES STUDENT & YOUNG PROFESSIONALS (SY). 3 Sept. 2018.

    Consultancy at SEAT (2016-2018): Participation in project monitoring meetings and prospective car manufacturing plant.

    2013 award for research in the field of disability. ‘Premi 2013 a la recerca en l'àmbit de la discapacitat’. Granted by Fundació Agrupació. 4 Nov. 2013.

    Ll. Ribas-Xirgo (principal researcher), et al. Intelligent Colonies of Cooperating Autonomous Robots: Methods and Tools. ‘Colonias inteligentes de Robots Autónomos Cooperantes: Métodos y Herramientas’. Project TEC2005-08066-C02-02. Funding entity: Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia. Budget: 54,740 EUR. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). 2005-2008.

    Ll. Ribas Xirgo, S. Vacchina. Musicalization method of a monitored phenomenon. ‘Método de musicalización de un fenómeno monitorizado’. Patent WO2008034930A1 WIPO (PCT). Priority claimed from ESP200602441. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). 22 Sept. 2006.

    Reviewer: Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (ISSN: 0921-8890), Autonomous Robots (ISSN: 0929-5593), IEEE Trans. on Ind. Electronics (ISSN: 0278-0046), IEEE Trans. on Ind. Informatics (ISSN: 1551-3203), and Microelectronics Journal (ISSN: 0026-2692), among others.

    Author of educational books on computer architecture and digital systems (including ISBN: 84-693-9186-0, ISBN: 84-693-9174-7, ISBN: 84-490-1767-X), and on programming and software development (including ISBN: 84-490-1466-2, ISBN: 84-9788-119-2).


Educational management

Coordinator of the Degree on Management of Smart and Sustainable Cities (2017-present)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Ph. D., Informàtica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

Award Date: 20 Dec 1996

Degree, Informàtica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

Award Date: 1 Jan 1989


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