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Probabilistic coordination of heterogeneous teams from capability temporal logic specifications

Summary

This letter explores coordination of heterogeneous teams of agents from high-level specifications. We employ Capability Temporal Logic (CaTL) to express rich, temporal-spatial tasks that require cooperation between many agents with unique capabilities. CaTL specifies combinations of tasks, each with desired locations, duration, and set of capabilities, freeing the user from considering specific agent trajectories and their impact on multi-agent cooperation. CaTL also provides a quantitative robustness metric of satisfaction based on availability of required capabilities for each task. The novelty of this letter focuses on satisfaction of CaTL formulas under probabilistic conditions. Specifically, we consider uncertainties in robot motion (e.g., agents may fail to transition between regions with some probability) and local probabilistic workspace properties (e.g., if there are not enough agents of a required capability to complete a collaborative task). The proposed approach automatically formulates amixed-integer linear program given agents, their dynamics and capabilities, an abstraction of the workspace, and a CaTL formula. In addition to satisfying the given CaTL formula, the optimization considers the following secondary goals (in decreasing order of priority): 1) minimize the risk of transition failure due to uncertainties; 2) maximize probabilities of regional collaborative satisfaction (if there is an excess of agents); 3) maximize the availability robustness of CaTL for potential agent attrition; 4) minimize the total agent travel time. We evaluate the performance of the proposed framework and demonstrate its scalability via numerical simulations.
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Summary

This letter explores coordination of heterogeneous teams of agents from high-level specifications. We employ Capability Temporal Logic (CaTL) to express rich, temporal-spatial tasks that require cooperation between many agents with unique capabilities. CaTL specifies combinations of tasks, each with desired locations, duration, and set of capabilities, freeing the user from...

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Fast decomposition of temporal logic specifications for heterogeneous teams

Published in:
IEEE Robot. Autom. Lett., Vol. 7, No. 2, April 2022, pp. 2297-2304.

Summary

We focus on decomposing large multi-agent path planning problems with global temporal logic goals (common to all agents) into smaller sub-problems that can be solved and executed independently. Crucially, the sub-problems' solutions must jointly satisfy the common global mission specification. The agents' missions are given as Capability Temporal Logic (CaTL) formulas, a fragment of Signal Temporal Logic (STL) that can express properties over tasks involving multiple agent capabilities (i.e., different combinations of sensors, effectors, and dynamics) under strict timing constraints. We jointly decompose both the temporal logic specification and the team of agents, using a satisfiability modulo theories (SMT) approach and heuristics for handling temporal operators. The output of the SMT is then distributed to subteams and leads to a significant speed up in planning time compared to planning for the entire team and specification. We include computational results to evaluate the efficiency of our solution, as well as the trade-offs introduced by the conservative nature of the SMT encoding and heuristics.
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Summary

We focus on decomposing large multi-agent path planning problems with global temporal logic goals (common to all agents) into smaller sub-problems that can be solved and executed independently. Crucially, the sub-problems' solutions must jointly satisfy the common global mission specification. The agents' missions are given as Capability Temporal Logic (CaTL)...

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Scalable and Robust Algorithms for Task-Based Coordination From High-Level Specifications (ScRATCHeS)

Summary

Many existing approaches for coordinating heterogeneous teams of robots either consider small numbers of agents, are application-specific, or do not adequately address common real world requirements, e.g., strict deadlines or intertask dependencies. We introduce scalable and robust algorithms for task-based coordination from high-level specifications (ScRATCHeS) to coordinate such teams. We define a specification language, capability temporal logic, to describe rich, temporal properties involving tasks requiring the participation of multiple agents with multiple capabilities, e.g., sensors or end effectors. Arbitrary missions and team dynamics are jointly encoded as constraints in a mixed integer linear program, and solved efficiently using commercial off-the-shelf solvers. ScRATCHeS optionally allows optimization for maximal robustness to agent attrition at the penalty of increased computation time.We include an online replanning algorithm that adjusts the plan after an agent has dropped out. The flexible specification language, fast solution time, and optional robustness of ScRATCHeS provide a first step toward a multipurpose on-the-fly planning tool for tasking large teams of agents with multiple capabilities enacting missions with multiple tasks. We present randomized computational experiments to characterize scalability and hardware demonstrations to illustrate the applicability of our methods.
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Summary

Many existing approaches for coordinating heterogeneous teams of robots either consider small numbers of agents, are application-specific, or do not adequately address common real world requirements, e.g., strict deadlines or intertask dependencies. We introduce scalable and robust algorithms for task-based coordination from high-level specifications (ScRATCHeS) to coordinate such teams. We...

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Development of a field artifical intelligence triage tool: Confidence in the prediction of shock, transfusion, and definitive surgical therapy in patients with truncal gunshot wounds

Summary

BACKGROUND: In-field triage tools for trauma patients are limited by availability of information, linear risk classification, and a lack of confidence reporting. We therefore set out to develop and test a machine learning algorithm that can overcome these limitations by accurately and confidently making predictions to support in-field triage in the first hours after traumatic injury. METHODS: Using an American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program-derived database of truncal and junctional gunshot wound (GSW) patients (aged 1~0 years), we trained an information-aware Dirichlet deep neural network (field artificial intelligence triage). Using supervised training, field artificial intelligence triage was trained to predict shock and the need for major hemorrhage control procedures or early massive transfusion (MT) using GSW anatomical locations, vital signs, and patient information available in the field. In parallel, a confidence model was developed to predict the true-dass probability ( scale of 0-1 ), indicating the likelihood that the prediction made was correct, based on the values and interconnectivity of input variables.
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Summary

BACKGROUND: In-field triage tools for trauma patients are limited by availability of information, linear risk classification, and a lack of confidence reporting. We therefore set out to develop and test a machine learning algorithm that can overcome these limitations by accurately and confidently making predictions to support in-field triage in...

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A cybersecurity moonshot

Author:
Published in:
IEEE Secur. Priv., Vol. 19, No. 3, May-June 2021, pp. 8-16.

Summary

Cybersecurity needs radical rethinking to change its current landscape. This article charts a vision for a cybersecurity moonshot based on radical but feasible technologies that can prevent the largest classes of vulnerabilities in modern systems.
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Summary

Cybersecurity needs radical rethinking to change its current landscape. This article charts a vision for a cybersecurity moonshot based on radical but feasible technologies that can prevent the largest classes of vulnerabilities in modern systems.

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Health-informed policy gradients for multi-agent reinforcement learning

Summary

This paper proposes a definition of system health in the context of multiple agents optimizing a joint reward function. We use this definition as a credit assignment term in a policy gradient algorithm to distinguish the contributions of individual agents to the global reward. The health-informed credit assignment is then extended to a multi-agent variant of the proximal policy optimization algorithm and demonstrated on simple particle environments that have elements of system health, risk-taking, semi-expendable agents, and partial observability. We show significant improvement in learning performance compared to policy gradient methods that do not perform multi-agent credit assignment.
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Summary

This paper proposes a definition of system health in the context of multiple agents optimizing a joint reward function. We use this definition as a credit assignment term in a policy gradient algorithm to distinguish the contributions of individual agents to the global reward. The health-informed credit assignment is then...

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Multilayer microhydraulic actuators with speed and force configurations

Author:
Published in:
Microsyst. Nanoeng., Vol. 7, Art. No. 22, 2021.

Summary

Electrostatic motors have traditionally required high voltage and provided low torque, leaving them with a vanishingly small portion of the motor application space. The lack of robust electrostatic motors is of particular concern in microsystems because inductive motors do not scale well to small dimensions. Often, microsystem designers have to choose from a host of imperfect actuation solutions, leading to high voltage requirements or low efficiency and thus straining the power budget of the entire system. In this work, we describe a scalable three-dimensional actuator technology that is based on the stacking of thin microhydraulic layers. This technology offers an actuation solution at 50 volts, with high force, high efficiency, fine stepping precision, layering, low abrasion, and resistance to pull-in instability. Actuator layers can also be stacked in different configurations trading off speed for force, and the actuator improves quadratically in power density when its internal dimensions are scaled-down.
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Summary

Electrostatic motors have traditionally required high voltage and provided low torque, leaving them with a vanishingly small portion of the motor application space. The lack of robust electrostatic motors is of particular concern in microsystems because inductive motors do not scale well to small dimensions. Often, microsystem designers have to...

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Multimodal representation learning via maximization of local mutual information [e-print]

Published in:
Intl. Conf. on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention, MICCAI, 27 September-1 October 2021.

Summary

We propose and demonstrate a representation learning approach by maximizing the mutual information between local features of images and text. The goal of this approach is to learn useful image representations by taking advantage of the rich information contained in the free text that describes the findings in the image. Our method learns image and text encoders by encouraging the resulting representations to exhibit high local mutual information. We make use of recent advances in mutual information estimation with neural network discriminators. We argue that, typically, the sum of local mutual information is a lower bound on the global mutual information. Our experimental results in the downstream image classification tasks demonstrate the advantages of using local features for image-text representation learning.
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Summary

We propose and demonstrate a representation learning approach by maximizing the mutual information between local features of images and text. The goal of this approach is to learn useful image representations by taking advantage of the rich information contained in the free text that describes the findings in the image...

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Learning emergent discrete message communication for cooperative reinforcement learning

Published in:
37th Conf. on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, UAI 2021, early access, 26-30 July 2021.

Summary

Communication is a important factor that enables agents work cooperatively in multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL). Most previous work uses continuous message communication whose high representational capacity comes at the expense of interpretability. Allowing agents to learn their own discrete message communication protocol emerged from a variety of domains can increase the interpretability for human designers and other agents. This paper proposes a method to generate discrete messages analogous to human languages, and achieve communication by a broadcast-and-listen mechanism based on self-attention. We show that discrete message communication has performance comparable to continuous message communication but with much a much smaller vocabulary size. Furthermore, we propose an approach that allows humans to interactively send discrete messages to agents.
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Summary

Communication is a important factor that enables agents work cooperatively in multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL). Most previous work uses continuous message communication whose high representational capacity comes at the expense of interpretability. Allowing agents to learn their own discrete message communication protocol emerged from a variety of domains can increase...

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Information Aware max-norm Dirichlet networks for predictive uncertainty estimation

Published in:
Neural Netw., Vol. 135, 2021, pp. 105–114.

Summary

Precise estimation of uncertainty in predictions for AI systems is a critical factor in ensuring trust and safety. Deep neural networks trained with a conventional method are prone to over-confident predictions. In contrast to Bayesian neural networks that learn approximate distributions on weights to infer prediction confidence, we propose a novel method, Information Aware Dirichlet networks, that learn an explicit Dirichlet prior distribution on predictive distributions by minimizing a bound on the expected max norm of the prediction error and penalizing information associated with incorrect outcomes. Properties of the new cost function are derived to indicate how improved uncertainty estimation is achieved. Experiments using real datasets show that our technique outperforms, by a large margin, state-of-the-art neural networks for estimating within-distribution and out-of-distribution uncertainty, and detecting adversarial examples.
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Summary

Precise estimation of uncertainty in predictions for AI systems is a critical factor in ensuring trust and safety. Deep neural networks trained with a conventional method are prone to over-confident predictions. In contrast to Bayesian neural networks that learn approximate distributions on weights to infer prediction confidence, we propose a...

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