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Informal Systems Seminar (ISS), Centre for Intelligent Machines (CIM) and Groupe d'Etudes et de Recherche en Analyse des Decisions (GERAD)

Optimal Control with Noisy Time and Communicative Actions


Andrew Lamperski
University of Minnesota

December 7, 2018 at  11:00 AM
McConnell Engineering Room 437

This talk will cover two topics: 1) Control and estimation with noisy time, and 2) communication via control actions.

In most control analysis, time is assumed to be perfectly known. However, in many important scenarios ranging from robotics, biological motor control, and transportation systems, timing information is not known perfectly. In the first part of the talk, we will examine problems of optimal control and estimation when time is imperfectly measured. For optimal control, we will show that under some clock noise models, dynamic programming principles can be obtained. In the linear quadratic case, explicit solutions can be computed. For estimation, we will present the problem of estimating time from sensor data. In particular, we will examine how control can influence the accuracy of time estimates, and we will discuss the estimation of time from multiple sensors with inaccurate time-stamps.

The second part of the talk will focus on communication with control actions. This communication strategy is known as signaling. While most signaling problems are mathematically challenging, humans routinely signal during cooperative movements. The second part of the talk will present a tractable problem that models salient features of human signaling strategies. The problem consists of a signaler that reaches towards an unspecified target, and an observer that decides on the target location based on movement measurements. The optimal control scheme reproduces qualitative phenomena observed in human reaching experiments.