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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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Fast training of deep neural networks robust to adversarial perturbations

Published in:
2020 IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conf., HPEC, 22-24 September 2020.

Summary

Deep neural networks are capable of training fast and generalizing well within many domains. Despite their promising performance, deep networks have shown sensitivities to perturbations of their inputs (e.g., adversarial examples) and their learned feature representations are often difficult to interpret, raising concerns about their true capability and trustworthiness. Recent work in adversarial training, a form of robust optimization in which the model is optimized against adversarial examples, demonstrates the ability to improve performance sensitivities to perturbations and yield feature representations that are more interpretable. Adversarial training, however, comes with an increased computational cost over that of standard (i.e., nonrobust) training, rendering it impractical for use in largescale problems. Recent work suggests that a fast approximation to adversarial training shows promise for reducing training time and maintaining robustness in the presence of perturbations bounded by the infinity norm. In this work, we demonstrate that this approach extends to the Euclidean norm and preserves the human-aligned feature representations that are common for robust models. Additionally, we show that using a distributed training scheme can further reduce the time to train robust deep networks. Fast adversarial training is a promising approach that will provide increased security and explainability in machine learning applications for which robust optimization was previously thought to be impractical.
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Summary

Deep neural networks are capable of training fast and generalizing well within many domains. Despite their promising performance, deep networks have shown sensitivities to perturbations of their inputs (e.g., adversarial examples) and their learned feature representations are often difficult to interpret, raising concerns about their true capability and trustworthiness. Recent...

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Safe predictors for enforcing input-output specifications [e-print]

Summary

We present an approach for designing correct-by-construction neural networks (and other machine learning models) that are guaranteed to be consistent with a collection of input-output specifications before, during, and after algorithm training. Our method involves designing a constrained predictor for each set of compatible constraints, and combining them safely via a convex combination of their predictions. We demonstrate our approach on synthetic datasets and an aircraft collision avoidance problem.
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Summary

We present an approach for designing correct-by-construction neural networks (and other machine learning models) that are guaranteed to be consistent with a collection of input-output specifications before, during, and after algorithm training. Our method involves designing a constrained predictor for each set of compatible constraints, and combining them safely via...

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AI enabling technologies: a survey

Summary

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the opportunity to revolutionize the way the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) address the challenges of evolving threats, data deluge, and rapid courses of action. Developing an end-to-end artificial intelligence system involves parallel development of different pieces that must work together in order to provide capabilities that can be used by decision makers, warfighters and analysts. These pieces include data collection, data conditioning, algorithms, computing, robust artificial intelligence, and human-machine teaming. While much of the popular press today surrounds advances in algorithms and computing, most modern AI systems leverage advances across numerous different fields. Further, while certain components may not be as visible to end-users as others, our experience has shown that each of these interrelated components play a major role in the success or failure of an AI system. This article is meant to highlight many of these technologies that are involved in an end-to-end AI system. The goal of this article is to provide readers with an overview of terminology, technical details and recent highlights from academia, industry and government. Where possible, we indicate relevant resources that can be used for further reading and understanding.
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Summary

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the opportunity to revolutionize the way the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) address the challenges of evolving threats, data deluge, and rapid courses of action. Developing an end-to-end artificial intelligence system involves parallel development of different pieces that must work together...

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Human-machine collaborative optimization via apprenticeship scheduling

Summary

Coordinating agents to complete a set of tasks with intercoupled temporal and resource constraints is computationally challenging, yet human domain experts can solve these difficult scheduling problems using paradigms learned through years of apprenticeship. A process for manually codifying this domain knowledge within a computational framework is necessary to scale beyond the "single-expert, single-trainee" apprenticeship model. However, human domain experts often have difficulty describing their decision-making processes. We propose a new approach for capturing this decision-making process through counterfactual reasoning in pairwise comparisons. Our approach is model-free and does not require iterating through the state space. We demonstrate that this approach accurately learns multifaceted heuristics on a synthetic and real world data sets. We also demonstrate that policies learned from human scheduling demonstration via apprenticeship learning can substantially improve the efficiency of schedule optimization. We employ this human-machine collaborative optimization technique on a variant of the weapon-to-target assignment problem. We demonstrate that this technique generates optimal solutions up to 9.5 times faster than a state-of-the-art optimization algorithm.
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Summary

Coordinating agents to complete a set of tasks with intercoupled temporal and resource constraints is computationally challenging, yet human domain experts can solve these difficult scheduling problems using paradigms learned through years of apprenticeship. A process for manually codifying this domain knowledge within a computational framework is necessary to scale...

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A cloud-based brain connectivity analysis tool

Summary

With advances in high throughput brain imaging at the cellular and sub-cellular level, there is growing demand for platforms that can support high performance, large-scale brain data processing and analysis. In this paper, we present a novel pipeline that combines Accumulo, D4M, geohashing, and parallel programming to manage large-scale neuron connectivity graphs in a cloud environment. Our brain connectivity graph is represented using vertices (fiber start/end nodes), edges (fiber tracks), and the 3D coordinates of the fiber tracks. For optimal performance, we take the hybrid approach of storing vertices and edges in Accumulo and saving the fiber track 3D coordinates in flat files. Accumulo database operations offer low latency on sparse queries while flat files offer high throughput for storing, querying, and analyzing bulk data. We evaluated our pipeline by using 250 gigabytes of mouse neuron connectivity data. Benchmarking experiments on retrieving vertices and edges from Accumulo demonstrate that we can achieve 1-2 orders of magnitude speedup in retrieval time when compared to the same operation from traditional flat files. The implementation of graph analytics such as Breadth First Search using Accumulo and D4M offers consistent good performance regardless of data size and density, thus is scalable to very large dataset. Indexing of neuron subvolumes is simple and logical with geohashing-based binary tree encoding. This hybrid data management backend is used to drive an interactive web-based 3D graphical user interface, where users can examine the 3D connectivity map in a Google Map-like viewer. Our pipeline is scalable and extensible to other data modalities.
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Summary

With advances in high throughput brain imaging at the cellular and sub-cellular level, there is growing demand for platforms that can support high performance, large-scale brain data processing and analysis. In this paper, we present a novel pipeline that combines Accumulo, D4M, geohashing, and parallel programming to manage large-scale neuron...

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Learning to tutor from expert demonstrators via apprenticeship scheduling

Published in:
AAAI-17 Workshop on Human-Machine Collaborative Learning, 4 February 2017.

Summary

We have conducted a study investigating the use of automated tutors for educating players in the context of serious gaming (i.e., game designed as a professional training tool). Historically, researchers and practitioners have developed automated tutors through a process of manually codifying domain knowledge and translating that into a human-interpretable format. This process is laborious and leaves much to be desired. Instead, we seek to apply novel machine learning techniques to, first, learn a model from domain experts' demonstrations how to solve such problems, and, second, use this model to teach novices how to think like experts. In this work, we present a study comparing the performance of an automated and a traditional, manually-constructed tutor. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation using learning from demonstration techniques to learn from experts and use that knowledge to teach novices.
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Summary

We have conducted a study investigating the use of automated tutors for educating players in the context of serious gaming (i.e., game designed as a professional training tool). Historically, researchers and practitioners have developed automated tutors through a process of manually codifying domain knowledge and translating that into a human-interpretable...

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Apprenticeship scheduling: learning to schedule from human experts

Published in:
Proc. of the Int. Joint Conf. Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), 9-15 July 2016.

Summary

Coordinating agents to complete a set of tasks with intercoupled temporal and resource constraints is computationally challenging, yet human domain experts can solve these difficult scheduling problems using paradigms learned through years of apprenticeship. A process for manually codifying this domain knowledge within a computational framework is necessary to scale beyond the "single expert, single-trainee" apprenticeship model. However, human domain experts often have difficulty describing their decision-making processes, causing the codification of this knowledge to become laborious. We propose a new approach for capturing domain-expert heuristics through a pairwise ranking formulation. Our approach is model-free and does not require enumerating or iterating through a large state-space. We empirically demonstrate that this approach accurately learns multifaceted heuristics on both a synthetic data set incorporating job-shop scheduling and vehicle routing problems and a real-world data set consisting of demonstrations of experts solving a weapon-to-target assignment problem.
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Summary

Coordinating agents to complete a set of tasks with intercoupled temporal and resource constraints is computationally challenging, yet human domain experts can solve these difficult scheduling problems using paradigms learned through years of apprenticeship. A process for manually codifying this domain knowledge within a computational framework is necessary to scale...

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