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Fun as a strategic advantage: applying lessons in engagement from commercial games to military logistics training

Summary

Digital games offer many elements to augment traditional classroom lectures and reading assignments. They enable players to explore concepts through repeat play in a low-risk environment, and allow players to integrate feedback given during gameplay and evaluate their own performance. Commercial games leverage a number of features to engage players and hold their attention. But do those engagement-improving methods have a place in instructional environments with a captive and motivated audience? Our experience building a logistics supply chain training game for the Marine Corps University suggests that yes; applying lessons in engagement from commercial games can both help improve player experience with the learning environment, and potentially improve learning outcomes.
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Summary

Digital games offer many elements to augment traditional classroom lectures and reading assignments. They enable players to explore concepts through repeat play in a low-risk environment, and allow players to integrate feedback given during gameplay and evaluate their own performance. Commercial games leverage a number of features to engage players...

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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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Tools and practices for responsible AI engineering

Summary

Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI)—the practice of developing, evaluating, and maintaining accurate AI systems that also exhibit essential properties such as robustness and explainability—represents a multifaceted challenge that often stretches standard machine learning tooling, frameworks, and testing methods beyond their limits. In this paper, we present two new software libraries—hydra-zen and the rAI-toolbox—that address critical needs for responsible AI engineering. hydra-zen dramatically simplifies the process of making complex AI applications configurable, and their behaviors reproducible. The rAI-toolbox is designed to enable methods for evaluating and enhancing the robustness of AI-models in a way that is scalable and that composes naturally with other popular ML frameworks. We describe the design principles and methodologies that make these tools effective, including the use of property-based testing to bolster the reliability of the tools themselves. Finally, we demonstrate the composability and flexibility of the tools by showing how various use cases from adversarial robustness and explainable AI can be concisely implemented with familiar APIs.
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Summary

Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI)—the practice of developing, evaluating, and maintaining accurate AI systems that also exhibit essential properties such as robustness and explainability—represents a multifaceted challenge that often stretches standard machine learning tooling, frameworks, and testing methods beyond their limits. In this paper, we present two new software libraries—hydra-zen and...

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Selective network discovery via deep reinforcement learning on embedded spaces

Published in:
Appl. Netw. Sci., Vol. 6, No.1, December 2021, Art. No. 24.

Summary

Complex networks are often either too large for full exploration, partially accessible, or partially observed. Downstream learning tasks on these incomplete networks can produce low quality results. In addition, reducing the incompleteness of the network can be costly and nontrivial. As a result, network discovery algorithms optimized for specific downstream learning tasks given resource collection constraints are of great interest. In this paper, we formulate the task-specific network discovery problem as a sequential decision-making problem. Our downstream task is selective harvesting, the optimal collection of vertices with a particular attribute. We propose a framework, called network actor critic (NAC), which learns a policy and notion of future reward in an offline setting via a deep reinforcement learning algorithm. The NAC paradigm utilizes a task-specific network embedding to reduce the state space complexity. A detailed comparative analysis of popular network embeddings is presented with respect to their role in supporting offline planning. Furthermore, a quantitative study is presented on various synthetic and real benchmarks using NAC and several baselines. We show that offline models of reward and network discovery policies lead to significantly improved performance when compared to competitive online discovery algorithms. Finally, we outline learning regimes where planning is critical in addressing sparse and changing reward signals.
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Summary

Complex networks are often either too large for full exploration, partially accessible, or partially observed. Downstream learning tasks on these incomplete networks can produce low quality results. In addition, reducing the incompleteness of the network can be costly and nontrivial. As a result, network discovery algorithms optimized for specific downstream...

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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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Principles for evaluation of AI/ML model performance and robustness, revision 1

Summary

The Department of Defense (DoD) has significantly increased its investment in the design, evaluation, and deployment of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) capabilities to address national security needs. While there are numerous AI/ML successes in the academic and commercial sectors, many of these systems have also been shown to be brittle and nonrobust. In a complex and ever-changing national security environment, it is vital that the DoD establish a sound and methodical process to evaluate the performance and robustness of AI/ML models before these new capabilities are deployed to the field. Without an effective evaluation process, the DoD may deploy AI/ML models that are assumed to be effective given limited evaluation metrics but actually have poor performance and robustness on operational data. Poor evaluation practices lead to loss of trust in AI/ML systems by model operators and more frequent--often costly--design updates needed to address the evolving security environment. In contrast, an effective evaluation process can drive the design of more resilient capabilities, ag potential limitations of models before they are deployed, and build operator trust in AI/ML systems. This paper reviews the AI/ML development process, highlights common best practices for AI/ML model evaluation, and makes the following recommendations to DoD evaluators to ensure the deployment of robust AI/ML capabilities for national security needs: -Develop testing datasets with sufficient variation and number of samples to effectively measure the expected performance of the AI/ML model on future (unseen) data once deployed, -Maintain separation between data used for design and evaluation (i.e., the test data is not used to design the AI/ML model or train its parameters) in order to ensure an honest and unbiased assessment of the model's capability, -Evaluate performance given small perturbations and corruptions to data inputs to assess the smoothness of the AI/ML model and identify potential vulnerabilities, and -Evaluate performance on samples from data distributions that are shifted from the assumed distribution that was used to design the AI/ML model to assess how the model may perform on operational data that may differ from the training data. By following the recommendations for evaluation presented in this paper, the DoD can fully take advantage of the AI/ML revolution, delivering robust capabilities that maintain operational feasibility over longer periods of time, and increase warfighter confidence in AI/ML systems.
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Summary

The Department of Defense (DoD) has significantly increased its investment in the design, evaluation, and deployment of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) capabilities to address national security needs. While there are numerous AI/ML successes in the academic and commercial sectors, many of these systems have also been shown to...

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