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[Colloquium] Symbolic Methods for Control Design in Multi-Agent Systems

April 3, 2007

  • Date: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007 
  • Time: 11 am— 12:15 pm 
  • Place: ECE 118

Bert Tanner 
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of New Mexico

Abstract: We present an approach to capturing concurrent cooperative behavior in multi-robot systems based on formal methods. We show a new way for abstracting a hybrid dynamical system describing the concurrent evolution of multiple robotic team dynamics into a discrete model of computation, to be used for planning cooperative behavior at a later stage. Closed loop switched robotic behaviors can be expressed in terms of a special context-free grammar. We define merge operators to express the composition of several grammars in an effort to formally describe concurrent multi-robot systems. The special, simple structure of these grammars allow us to exploit known results in the field of basic process algebras, and show that language equivalence for these types of systems is decidable up to bisimulation.

Bio: Dr. Tanner was born in Atlanta GA in 1973 and shortly after he moved to Athens, Greece. In 1990 he entered the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) through examinations ranking 8th nationally. He received his Eng. Diploma in 1996 (5 year program) in mechanical engineering from NTUA, (magna cum laude-top 3%). In 2001 he received his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from NTUA. From 2001 to 2003 he was a post doctoral fellow with the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2003, he joined the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico where he is currently an assistant professor. Since 2005, he holds a secondary appointment with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UNM. He was a finalist during the 2003 Euron G. Giralt PhD award, and he received the National Science Foundation Career Award in 2005. His research interests include cooperative planning and control of interconnected multi-agent systems, coordination of mobile sensor and actuation networks, nonholonomic motion planning and control, hybrid modeling of embedded control systems, and mobile manipulation of deformable material. Dr. Tanner is a member of the Control Systems Society and the Robotics and Automation Society of the IEEE. He is an Associate Editor for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine and serves in the Conference Editorial Boards of the IEEE Control Systems and Robotics and Automation Societies.

Note: Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, this video will not be available.