Topological Abstraction and Planning for the Pursuit-Evasion Problem

December 5, 2016 -
11:15am to 12:15pm
Keller 3-125
Vokan Isler

ABSTRACT: In this talk, we will present some initial work on planning using topological abstraction. We will consider a multi-pursuer multi-evader problem as a case study to ground the discussion. We will describe how we can cast the abstraction problem as a topological problem and by leveraging sheaf theoretic methods develop a framework to search for strategies that lead to evade capture. We will show how the sheaf can be leveraged to encode the belief state of the problem and how the capture event can be formalized through topological property of the sheaf. We will assume pursuers with limited detection range and an unknown number of evaders with arbitrary motion capabilities.

 BIO: Alberto Speranzon received the ‘‘Laurea’’ degree in computer engineering from University of Padova, Italy in 2000, and a Ph.D. in automatic control from the School of Electrical Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden in 2006. In September 2015 he joined Honeywell Labs in Minneapolis, MN, USA where he is a research scientist. At Honeywell, Alberto is working on autonomous systems, leading such research area as program manager and principal investigator, and involved in a NASA sponsored project aimed at developing novel methodologies for systems of systems design and analysis. Before joining Honeywell, he was a research scientist at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), in East Harford, CT, USA where, since 2008, he covered various roles of increasing responsibility. At UTRC, Alberto served as project manager and principal investigator of various DARPA sponsored projects on novel methods for navigation in GPS degraded/denied and new mathematics for swarm autonomy where methods cutting across robust adaptive filtering, artificial intelligence, graph theory and algebraic topology were combined. His research interests are mainly in the area of autonomy and cyber–physical systems, and in particular on distributed control, estimation and optimization, planning in complex environments and abstraction methods for swarm intelligence. Alberto received the Outstanding achievement Award in 2009 from United Technologies Research Center, highest award given by UTRC. Before joining UTRC, between October 2006 and September 2008, he was a Marie Curie Research Fellow at Unilever R&D, Port Sunlight, UK, working on biomimetic robotics applications for personal care. During 2006–2008 he was a regular visitor at University of California at Berkeley, USA working on decentralized estimation over sensor networks. He is an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology and part of the Technical Program committee of various conferences in the area of networked control systems, robotics and cyber–physical systems.