Plenary Talk: “Time Inconsistency and Stochastic Optimal Control”

Ji-Feng Zhang
Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science
Chinese Academy of Sciences

Abstract: For classical optimal control problem, an optimal control (corresponding to a given time-state initial pair) will stay optimal along the optimal trajectory, namely, the restriction of that optimal control on the tail time horizon will also be optimal for the intertemporal time-state initial pairs. This is termed as the time consistency of optimal control, which is derived by Bellman’s principle of optimality. Though not mentioned frequently, time consistency is indeed an essential notion of classical optimal control theory, and Bellman’s dynamic programming depends mostly on this time consistency.

In real world, however, the time consistency fails quite often in many situations. The best documented anomalies to ruin Bellman’s principle of optimality and the time consistency of optimal control are as follows. The first one is that the discounting function in cost functional is not exponential, and the nonlinear appearance of conditional expectation in cost functional is another factor. The third case is with respect to the state-dependent (or rank-dependent) utility. Such three anomalies can find their strong roots in the areas of economics and finance; and several notable practical examples are the hyperbolic discounting, quasi-geometric discounting, and mean-variance utility.

In this talk, the story about time inconsistency is shed light on including its budding and qualitative analysis since Adam Smith, its quantitative formulation and successful applications in finance and economics, and its growing study in system and control community. Specifically, the necessity is highlighted to study the time inconsistency within the realm of stochastic optimal control.

Short Bio: Ji-Feng Zhang received his B.S. degree in mathematics from Shandong University, China, in 1985, and his Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Systems Science (ISS), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China, in 1991. Since 1985, he has been with the ISS, CAS, and now is a professor of AMSS and the director of ISS. His current research interests include system modeling, adaptive control, stochastic systems, and multi-agent systems.

He is an IEEE Fellow, IFAC Fellow, CAA Fellow, a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and an Academician of the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences. He received the Second Prize of the State Natural Science Award of China in 2010 and 2015, respectively, the Distinguished Young Scholar Fund from National Natural Science Foundation of China in 1997, the First Prize of the Young Scientist Award of CAS in 1995, Excellent Chinese Doctoral Dissertation Supervisor in 2009, Excellent Graduate Student Supervisor of CAS in 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively.

He is now a Vice-Chair of the IFAC Technical Board, Vice President of the Chinese Association of Automation (CAA), Vice President of the Systems Engineering Society of China, and was a member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Control Systems Society. He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the popularization magazine “All About Systems and Control”, and has served as Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Deputy Editor-in-Chief or Associate Editor for more than 10 journals, including “Science China: Information Sciences”, “IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control” and “SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization”. He was an IPC Vice-Chair of the 20th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), Program Chair or Co-Chair of the 2012 IEEE Conference on Control Applications, the 9th World Congress on Intelligent Control and Automation, the 30th Chinese Control Conference, and the 17th IFAC Symposium on System Identification, and General Co-Chair of several Chinese Control Conferences.

Plenery Talk: “Cooperative Localization and Control of Multi-agent Systems”

Lihua Xie
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Abstract: The capability of localization is of great importance for many applications such as Internet of Things and operation of unmanned systems. GPS has been widely used for positioning and navigation. However, in indoor environments and many outdoor environments such as urban canon and forest, GPS may not be available or may be unreliable. Hence, there has been a lot of interest in developing technologies and algorithms for localization in such environments. In this talk, we shall discuss some recent research on this topic. We shall discuss localization leveraging on various technologies including WiFi, UWB and vision. In particular, we shall introduce recently developed consensus based and graph optimization based cooperative localization, leveraging on UWB technologies. We shall also discuss the integrative relative localization and formation control problem for multi-agent systems, and demonstrate their applications in unmanned ground and aerial vehicles.

Short Bio: Lihua Xie received the B.E. and M.E. degrees in electrical engineering from Nanjing University of Science and Technology in 1983 and 1986, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Newcastle, Australia, in 1992. He was a faculty with the Department of Automatic Control, Nanjing University of Science and Technology from 1986 to 1989. Since 1992, he has been with the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where he is currently a professor and the Director of the Delta-NTU Corporate Laboratory for Cyber-Physical Systems.  He served as the Head of Division of Control and Instrumentation from July 2011 to June 2014. His research areas include robust control, networked control, compressive sensing, localization and unmanned systems. He has been listed as a highly cited researcher by Thomson Routers and Clarivate Analytics since 2014. He is currently an Editor-in-Chief of Unmanned Systems and Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems. He has served as an Editor of IET Book Series on Control and Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, Automatica, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems-II, etc. He is a Fellow of IEEE and Fellow of IFAC, and an elected member of the Board of Governors of IEEE Control System Society.

Plenery Talk: “Recent Progress of Chinese Space Robotics”

Hong liu

Abstract: At present, there are two big space exploration programs in China: China’s Manned Space Engineering (CMSE) and Chang’e Lunar Exploration Project (CLEP). In both programs, the space robotics plays an important role. This talk will give an overview about the recent progress of the space robotics in this national programs. Also some future space robotics missions will be discussed.

Short Bio: Prof. Hong Liu received his bachelor degree and doctor’s degree from the Harbin Institute of Technology, in 1986 and 1993, respectively. In 1991 he joined DLR(the German Aerospace Center) as joint Ph.D candidate and worked on three-finger robot hand. Since 1993 he has worked as a key researcher on the DLR 4-finger Hand and the HIT/DLR 5-finger Hand. In 1999 he was awarded the Chang Jiang Scholars Program and received a professorship of Harbin Institute of Technology(HIT).

Since 1999 he has been the leader of the HIT-DLR Joint Robotics Lab in HIT. He has published more than 200 papers in robotics, mainly on robot sensing, sensory feedback, mechatronics, medical and space robotics. He was the prime investigator of first Chinese space robot arm, which has been successfully tested in 2013.

In 2007 he received the first prize of Technology Transfer Award, which is the most important EU-wide award for robotics research to raise the profile of technology transfer between science and industry. In 2008 he received the second prize of National Award of Technological Invention of China. In 2010, he was also awarded the Chinese Recruitment Program of Global Experts. Up to date, it is the most important recruitment program in China.

Plenery Talk: “Safe and Efficient Robot Collaboration System”

Masayoshi Tomizuka

Abstract: In factory automation, humans and robots comprise the two major work forces. Traditionally, humans and robots have not physically collaborated with each other during operation, in significant part because full automation with robots was the goal. In recent years, however, it has been recognized that there are tremendous advantages if robots are brought out of their cages and to allow them to share work space with and to collaborate with humans to take advantage of the best of two worlds – on one hand, the reliable execution of tasks by robots without wear handling objects of a wide range of sizes and weights, and on the other hand, the intelligence of humans and their five senses-based adaptability and flexibility. For collaboration between humans and robots to be successful, it is a prerequisite to ensure the safety of the humans in such collaboration. At the same time, it is important to ensure that robots collaborate with humans to ensure the best performance possible. The safe and efficient robot collaboration system (SERoCS) is for the next generation co-robots, which consists of robust cognition algorithms for environment monitoring, optimal task planning algorithms for safe human-robot collaboration, and safe motion planning and control algorithms for safe human-robot interactions (HRI). The proposed SERoCS will significantly expand the skill sets of the co-robots and prevent or minimize occurrences of human-robot collision and robot-robot collision during operation.

Short Bio: Masayoshi Tomizuka received his Ph. D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in February 1974. In 1974, he joined the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, where he currently holds the Cheryl and John Neerhout, Jr., Distinguished Professorship Chair. His current research interests are optimal and adaptive control, digital control, signal processing, motion control, and control problems related to robotics, precision motion control and vehicles. He served as Program Director of the Dynamic Systems and Control Program of the Civil and Mechanical Systems Division of NSF (2002- 2004). He served as Technical Editor of the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, J-DSMC (1988-93), and Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (1997-99). Prof. Tomizuka is a Life Fellow of the ASME and IEEE and a Fellow of IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control). He is the recipient of the Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award (ASME, 1997), the Rufus Oldenburger Medal (ASME, 2002) and the John R. Ragazzini Award (2006).

Plenery Talk: “Intelligent Cooperative Decision and Control of Multi-Agent systems”

Jie Chen

Abstract: The multi-agent systems have been shown to have wide and important applications in unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned ground vehicles, unmanned warehouses, etc. Due to the intelligence, security and reliability requirements of multi-agent systems, the research on intelligent cooperative decision and control becomes increasingly urgent. In this presentation, three relevant research topics are introduced in detail: intelligent command and decision of multi-agent systems, cooperative fault detection and multi-agent sharing control. Correspondingly, the crucial techniques are presented for the role-based linear temporal logic design, cooperative fault detection based on H_inf/H_2 hybrid optimization and multi-objective optimization based sharing control. Finally, the future trends of the related research fields are given.

Short Bio: Prof. Jie Chen is Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Vice President of Beijing Institute of Technology, Director of the State Key Laboratory of Intelligent Control and Decision of Complex Systems, Chief Scientist of a National 973 Basic Research Program, Principal Investigator of an Innovative-Research-Group Program supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). He is a Distinguished Young Scholar awarded by the NSFC, and a Changjiang Scholar Distinguished Professor awarded by the Chinese Ministry of Education. He serves as the Vice President of the Chinese Association of Automation, and an Executive Director of the Chinese Artificial Intelligence Society. He is also the Managing Editor for the Journal of Systems Science and Complexity, and editorial board members and associate editors for several renowned international journals, such as IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control, Science China Information Sciences, CTT, etc.
His main research interests include multi-objective optimization and decision for complex systems, cooperative control of multi-agent systems, and constrained nonlinear control. He has authored/co-authored 4 monographs and more than 80 SCI journal papers, and holds 43 patents of invention. He received the National Natural Science Award of China (Class II) once, and the National Science and Technology Progress Awards of China (Class II) twice.

Plenery Talk: “Theory and Technology of Tri-Co Robots

Han Ding

Abstract:The Tri-Co Robots (Coexisting-Cooperative-Cognitive Robots) are those that can naturally interact and collaborate with the operating environment, human as well as other robots, and be adaptive to the complex dynamic environments. The characteristics of Tri-Co robots include: compliant and dexterous structure, multi-modal perception, distributed autonomous and collaborative ability. This talk will introduce the current research activities of robotics in China, especially the Tri-Robot Research Plan of NSFC (National Natural Science Foundation of China), including the scientific challenges, key scientific problems and main research contents of the plan from the aspects of structure, perception and control, followed by the forecasts on China’s expected breakthroughs and goals in Tri-Co robot research domain. After that, the challenges of robotic techniques in machining are analyzed and summarized, and the recent research works in our group are also introduced.

Short Bio: Prof. Han Ding received his Ph.D. degree in Mechatronics from Huazhong University of Science & Technology in 1989. Supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Prof. Ding worked at University of Stuttgart, Germany in 1993. He obtained the National Distinguished Youth Scientific Fund in 1997 and was employed as the “Cheung Kong” Chair Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2001. He was elected a member of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2013.

Prof. Ding has long dedicated himself to the research work in the field of robotics and digital manufacturing and successfully combines the robotics and manufacturing technologies. He published three academic books and more than 300 journal papers, and licensed more than 60 patents in China. Prof. Ding acted as an Associate Editor (2003-2007) and an Editor (2011-) of IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering. He was a Technical Editor of IEEE/ASME Trans. on Mechatronics from 2010 to 2014. Currently, he is a Senior Editor of IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. As a General Co-Chair, he hosted the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation held in Shanghai, China in 2011.