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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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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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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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What could we do with a 20-meter tower on the Lunar South Pole? Applications of the Multifunctional Expandable Lunar Lite & Tall Tower (MELLTT)

Summary

Lunar polar regions and permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) are a key component of NASA's exploration objectives for the lunar surface, given their potential for a high abundance of volatiles like water. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Big Idea Challenge Team proposed the use of deployable towers to support robotic and remote exploration of these PSRs, alleviating limitations imposed by the rugged terrain. This deployable tower technology (called MELLTT) could enable an extended ecosystem on the lunar surface. This paper seeks to build on this initial concept by showcasing the advantages of self-deploying lightweight lunar towers through the development of various payload concepts. The payloads include 5-kg packages for an initial proof-of-concept deployment, as well as 50-kg payloads and payloads across multiple towers for future exploration architectures. The primary goal of a 5-kg tower payload is to return unique scientific data from a PSR while minimizing risk to a tower technology demonstration mission. Concepts include passive imagers to provide a step-change improvement in resolution, solar reflectors capable of illuminating PSRs, communications infrastructure for human and robotic exploration, a power beaming demonstration, and a PSR impactor. These payloads demonstrate the utility of towers on the lunar surface and how incremental improvements in the capability of towers can further NASA's exploration program.
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Summary

Lunar polar regions and permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) are a key component of NASA's exploration objectives for the lunar surface, given their potential for a high abundance of volatiles like water. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Big Idea Challenge Team proposed the use of deployable towers to support robotic...

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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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Antennas and RF components designed with graded index composite materials

Summary

Antennas and RF components in general, can greatly benefit with the recent development of low-loss 3D print graded index materials. The additional degrees of freedom provided by graded index materials can result in the design of antennas and other RF components with superior performance than currently available designs based on conventional constant permittivity materials. Here we discuss our work designing flat lenses for antennas and RF matching networks as well as filters based on graded index composite materials.
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Summary

Antennas and RF components in general, can greatly benefit with the recent development of low-loss 3D print graded index materials. The additional degrees of freedom provided by graded index materials can result in the design of antennas and other RF components with superior performance than currently available designs based on...

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Graded index dielectric superstrate for phased array scan compensation

Published in:
2020 IEEE Intl. Symp. on Antennas and Propagation and North American Radio Science Meeting, 5-10 July 2020.

Summary

This paper presents the use of additively manufactured graded index materials to improve the scan impedance variation of phased arrays. Solvent-based extrusion permits the programmatically controlled printing of chosen material properties with relative permittivity ranging from 2 to 24.5. This low-loss material shows promise for improvement of scan impedance variation for high scan angles in a smaller footprint than discrete layers.
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Summary

This paper presents the use of additively manufactured graded index materials to improve the scan impedance variation of phased arrays. Solvent-based extrusion permits the programmatically controlled printing of chosen material properties with relative permittivity ranging from 2 to 24.5. This low-loss material shows promise for improvement of scan impedance variation...

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Adjoint analysis of guidance systems for time-series inputs using Fourier analysis

Author:
Published in:
J. Guid., Control, Dyn., Vol. 43, No. 7, July 2020.

Summary

The adjoint technique is a proven technique for analysis of linear time-varying systems and is widely used in the missile design community. It is a very efficient technique that can solve for both deterministic and stochastic disturbances and can develop a miss distance budget in a single computer solution of the differential equations without use of time-consuming Monte Carlo simulations. The adjoint technique is very valuable in both preliminary and more advanced missile design stages and is based upon the mathematical adjoint of the system dynamics matrix of the homing loop. Zarchan [1,2] describes extensive use of the technique for a variety of disturbances for homing missiles, and this author has developed its use for command guided missiles [3]. For adjoint analysis, the usual method of modeling maneuver disturbances to a missile guidance system starts by modeling the maneuver in the forward-time system as a delta function input into a transfer function with the same second-order statistics as the maneuver, and its output is input into the guidance system; then the system is converted into its adjoint system [1]. Bucco and Weiss [4] show that a set of nonstandard time-varying inputs cannot be treated in the normal fashion [2,5,6], and they present a new technique that enables these nonstandard inputs to be analyzed using adjoint analysis. This paper was inspired by and extends the results of the paper by Bucco and Weiss [4]. This paper shows that the use of the complex digital Fourier amplitude spectrums of both the maneuver and the adjoint impulse response at the maneuver point allows adjoint analysis to address another type of nonstandard input, namely, an arbitrary time-series inputs such as specific target maneuvers that are not representable by an impulse input into a transfer function; heretofore, these time-series inputs have not been treatable with adjoint analysis. Additionally, if there are several sets of arbitrary time series of target maneuvers, each with an associated probability of occurrence, the root-mean-square (rms) value of the set of probabilistic maneuvers can be calculated, another significant new capability introduced in this paper.
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Summary

The adjoint technique is a proven technique for analysis of linear time-varying systems and is widely used in the missile design community. It is a very efficient technique that can solve for both deterministic and stochastic disturbances and can develop a miss distance budget in a single computer solution of...

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