Decision Making in Robots and Autonomous Agents

The lectures will be held in Room LG.08, David Hume Tower On Tuesday; Room 5.3, Lister Teaching Centre on Friday. The lecture time will be 11:10 - 12:00 on Tuesdays and Fridays
We will upload reading materials to this web page throughout the semester, aiming to make slides and readings available by the day before the lecture.

Lecture Slides and Handouts

Lecture content:
Assignments and Deadlines:
January 16
PDF Slides
January 19
Control: How does a robot stay "in place"?
PDF Slides (Main part)
PDF Slides (Pendulum Example)
Optional Reading (phase plane analysis and stability): Ch. 2 and 3 in J.-J. Slotine, W. Li, Applied Nonlinear Control.
Optional Reading (Pendulum example): B.J. Kuipers, S. Ramamoorthy, Qualitative modeling and heterogeneous control of global system behavior. In C. J. Tomlin and M. R. Greenstreet (Eds.), Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 2289, pp. 294-307, Springer Verlag, 2002.
January 23
Case Study: Sequential composition of robot behaviours
PDF Slides
Reading: R. R. Burridge, A. A. Rizzi, D. E. Koditschek, Sequential composition of dynamically dexterous robot behaviors, Int. J. Robotics Research, Vol 18, Issue 6, pp. 534 - 555, 1999.
Optional Reading (FYI only, not needed for lecture): J. Pratt, C.-M. Chew, A. Torres, P. Dilworth, G. Pratt, Virtual Model Control: An intuitive approach for bipedal locomotion, Int. J. Robotics Research, Vol 20, Issue 2, pp. 129 - 143, 2001.
January 26
Dynamic Programming principle: How should a robot go from "A to B"?
PDF Slides
January 30
Lecture Cancelled
February 2
Decision theory: How should a robot incorporate "preferences" and different notions of "choice"?
PDF Slides
Term Paper Topics announced; Coursework 1 assigned
February 6
Stochastic system models: How should a robot incorporate uncertainty in decision making?
PDF Slides
Optional Reading: R. Sutton and A. Barto, Reinforcement Learning, Sections 2.1-2.2, 3.7-3.8, 4.1-4.4
February 9
Case Study: Searching for a fallen aircraft in the oceans
PDF Slides from a public talk by first author of the paper
Reading: L.D. Stone, C.M. Keller, T.M. Kratzke, J.P. Strumpfer, Search for the wreckage of Air France flight AF 447, Statistical Science, Volume 29, Number 1, pp. 69-80, 2014.
February 13
Causality: How can a robot reason about cause and effect?
PDF Slides
Reading: J. Pearl, Theoretical impediments to machine learning with seven sparks from the causal revolution, UCLA Cognitive Systems Laboratory, Technical Report (R-475), 2017.
Optional Reading: J. Halpern, J. Pearl, Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach: Part 1: Causes, In Proc. UAI 2001.
February 16
Game theory: How should robots reason about interactive decisions?
PDF Slides
Coursework 1 Due (4 pm, hardcopy to ITO + electronic submission)
February 27
Worked Examples session
PDF Slides and Notes
March 2
University Closed - no lecture
March 4

Coursework 2 assigned
March 6
Case Study: Decentralized resource allocation and multi-robot systems
PDF Slides
Reading: M.B. Dias, R. Zlot, N. Kalra, A. Stentz, Market-based multirobot coordination: A survey and analysis. Proc. IEEE 94(7):1257 - 1270, 2006.
March 9
Safety in engineered systems
PDF Slides
March 13
Explainability in AI
We will follow slides from Dave Gunning, Program Manager for DARPA XAI Program: PDF Slides
March 16
Bounded rationality and behavioural issues
PDF Slides
March 20
Security and Privacy in Robotic Systems
PDF Slides
March 23
Student Presentations on Term Paper
PRESENTERS: Piercy; El-Naggar; Waheed Mir; Tan; Wood + Becque; Pisharody; PĂ©rez Malla; Angeletos Chrysaitis; (Gorbunova; Kane)
March 27
Student Presentations on Term Paper
PRESENTERS: Treszkai + Ring; Muller; Aryabumi; Ng + Sanak; Pimbert + Cholakov; Carreno + Fraser; Zhu; (Wood; Yao; Robertson)
Term Paper Due (4 pm, hardcopy to ITO + electronic submission)
March 29

Coursework 2 Due (4 pm, hardcopy to ITO + electronic submission)

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