Combining Fitness-based Search and User Modeling in Evolutionary Robotics
Proceedings of the 15th annual conference on Genetic and evolutionary computation, , 159-166, 2013
Abstract: Methodologies are emerging in many branches of computer science that demonstrate how human users and automated algorithms can collaborate on a problem such that their combined solutions outperform those produced by either humans or algorithms alone. The problem of behavior optimization in robotics seems particularly well-suited for this approach because humans have intuitions about how animals—and thus robots—should and should not behave, and can visually detect non-optimal behaviors that are trapped in local optima. Here we introduce a multiobjective approach in which a surrogate user (which stands in for a human user) deflects search away from local optima and a traditional fitness function eventually leads search toward the global optimum. We show that this approach produces superior solutions for a deceptive robotics problem compared to a similar search method that is guided by just a surrogate user or just a fitness function.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).