[PAST] Trading safety versus performance: robust rapid deployment of robotic swarms
[PAST] Trading safety versus performance: robust rapid deployment of robotic swarms [602]
2014 / 11 / 06 / AM 11:00
Location: 301 - 203
Speaker: Stefano Carpin

We consider a stochastic deployment problem, where a robotic swarm is
tasked with the objective of positioning at least one robot at each of a
set of pre-assigned targets while meeting a temporal deadline. Travel
times and failure rates are stochastic but related, inasmuch as failure
rates increase with speed. To maximize chances of success while meeting
the deadline, a control strategy has therefore to balance safety and
performance. Our approach is to cast the problem within the theory of
constrained Markov Decision Processes, whereby we seek to compute
policies that maximize the probability of successful deployment while
ensuring that the expected duration of the task is bounded by a given
deadline. To account for uncertainties in the problem parameters, we
consider a robust formulation and we propose efficient solution
algorithms, which are of independent interest. Numerical experiments
confirming our theoretical results are presented and discussed.


Stefano Carpin received his "Laurea"(MSc) and Ph.D. degrees in
electrical engineering and computer science from the University of
Padova, Italy in 1999 and 2003, respectively. From 2003 to 2006 he held
faculty positions with the International University Bremen, Germany.
Since 2007 he has been with the School of Engineering at UC Merced,
where he established and leads the UC Merced robotics laboratory.
His research interests include mobile and cooperative robotics for
service tasks, and robot algorithms. He published more than 100 papers
in international journals, conferences, and workshops, and he is a
Senior Member of the IEEE. From 2010 to 2014 he was an associate editor
for the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, and he is a guest editor for a
special issue of the Autonomous Robots journal on Constrained
decision-making in robotics: models, algorithms, and applications. Under
his supervision, teams participating in the RoboCupRescue Virtual Robots
competition won second place in 2006 and 2008, and first place in 2009.
His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation,
DARPA, the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Lab, the
Department of Commerce (NIST), the Center for Information Technology
Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), Microsoft Research, and
General Motors.