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PerMIS 2012 Plenary Addresses

George W. Arnold
Director, Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office and National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability
Engineering Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Title: Performance and New Paradigms for the Electric Power System

Abstract: The structure of the world's power system has not changed much since the era of Thomas Edison: it is characterized by the one-way flow of electricity from controllable carbon-producing centralized power generation plants to users who have little awareness of how much energy they consume and how they can be more efficient. This talk will describe how the Smart Grid will eventually enable a new paradigm - the dynamic, two-way flow of electricity and information that will support growing use of distributed green generation sources (such as wind and solar), widespread use of electric vehicles, and ubiquitous intelligent appliances and buildings that can dynamically adjust power consumption in response to conditions on the grid. Modeling, forecasting, and control strategies that reflect new dynamic operational paradigms will be essential to realizing the environmental and energy efficiency benefits enabled by the smart grid.

Bio: George Arnold was appointed National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in April 2009. He is responsible for leading the development of standards underpinning the nation's Smart Grid. In October 2011 he assumed an additional responsibility as Director, Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office in the NIST Engineering Laboratory. Dr. Arnold joined NIST in September 2006 as Deputy Director, Technology Services, after a 33-year career in the telecommunications and information technology industry.

Dr. Arnold served as Chairman of the Board of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private, non-profit organization that coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system, from 2003 to 2005. He served as President of the IEEE Standards Association in 2007-2008 and was Vice President-Policy for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) during 2006-2009, where he is responsible for guiding ISO's strategic plan.

Dr. Arnold previously served as a Vice-President at Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories where he directed the company's global standards efforts. His organization played a leading role in the development of international standards for Intelligent Networks and IP-based Next Generation Networks. In previous assignments at AT&T Bell Laboratories he had responsibilities in network planning, systems engineering, and application of information technology to automate operations and maintenance of the nationwide telecommunications network.

Dr. Arnold received a Doctor of Engineering Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Columbia University in 1978. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Satyandra K. Gupta
Director, Maryland Robotics Center
Maryland Robotics Center Mechanical Engineering Department and Institute for Systems Research University of Maryland, College Park

Title: Simulation-Based Design and Evaluation of Physics-Aware Planners for Robotic Operations in Challenging Environments

Abstract: Physically challenging environments require robots to be able to negotiate around dynamically moving objects, cope with significant uncertainties in the outcome of action execution, sensor limitations, and the presence of intelligent adversaries. Physics-aware planners are needed in such environments. Unfortunately, exhaustive evaluation of planners using only physical tests is not possible in these applications. This presentation describes how simulations can be successfully used to design and evaluate physics-aware planners. I plan to cover the following four topics. First, I will describe a physics-aware planner that integrates task planning, behavior selection, and trajectory planning in a seamless manner to successfully handle physically challenging environments. This approach provides the right balance between deliberative planning and reactive behaviors during the execution of complex tasks in a dynamic uncertain environment. Second, I will describe our work in the area of physically accurate computationally efficient simulations to enable physics-aware planning and evaluate planners. Third, I will describe computational synthesis techniques for automatically generating sophisticated reactive behaviors using simulations. Finally, the following applications will be used to illustrate simulation-based design and evaluation of planners: (1) guarding of a valuable asset by autonomous unmanned sea surface vehicles, (2) assembly of micro particles in a fluidic medium using holographic optical tweezers, and (4) supply mission on a rugged terrain by unmanned ground vehicles.

Bio: Dr. Satyandra K. Gupta is a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the director of the Maryland Robotics Center. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, he was a Research Scientist in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He received a Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Roorkee (currently known as Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee) in 1988, a Master of Technology (M. Tech.) degree in Production Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1994.

Dr. Gupta's interest is broadly in the area of automation. He is specifically interested in automation problems arising in Engineering Design, Manufacturing, and Robotics. His current research focus is mainly on simulation-based computational synthesis and automated planning. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He has served as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, ASME Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering, and SME Journal of Manufacturing Processes.

Dr. Gupta has authored or co-authored more than two hundred forty articles in journals, conference proceedings, and book chapters. Awards received by Dr. Gupta include a Best Paper Award in 1994 ASME International Conference on Computers in Engineering, a Best Paper Award in 1999 ASME Design for Manufacturing Conference, a Young Investigator Award from Office of Naval Research in 2000, a Robert W. Galvin Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 2001, a CAREER Award from National Science Foundation in 2001, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2001, a Best Paper Award in 2006 ASME Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, and a Best Paper Award in 2010 ASME Mechanism and Robotics Conference. He received Kos Ishii-Toshiba Award from ASME in 2011.

Prof. Edward A. Lee
Robert S. Pepper Distinquished Professor
University of California at Berkeley
EECS Department

Title: Time for High-Confidence Cyber-Physical Systems

Abstract: All widely used software abstractions lack temporal semantics. The notion of correct execution of a program written in every widely-used programming language today does not depend on the temporal behavior of the program. But temporal behavior matters in almost all systems, particularly in networked systems. Even in systems with no particular real-time requirements, timing of programs is relevant to the value delivered by programs, and in the case of concurrent and distributed programs, also affects the functionality. In systems with real-time requirements, including most embedded systems, temporal behavior affects not just the value delivered by a system but also its correctness.

This talk will argue that time can and must become part of the semantics of programs for a large class of applications. It will argue that temporal behavior is not always just a performance metric, but is often rather a correctness criterion. To illustrate that this is both practical and useful, we will describe recent efforts at Berkeley in the design and analysis of timing-centric software systems. In particular, we will focus on two projects, PRET, which seeks to provide computing platforms with repeatable timing, and PTIDES, which provides a programming model for distributed real-time systems.

Bio: Edward A. Lee is the Robert S. Pepper Distinguished Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) department at U.C. Berkeley. His research interests center on design, modeling, and analysis of embedded, real-time computational systems. He is a director of Chess, the Berkeley Center for Hybrid and Embedded Software Systems, and is the director of the Berkeley Ptolemy project. From 2005-2008, he served as chair of the EE Division and then chair of the EECS Department at UC Berkeley. He is co-author of nine books (counting second and third editions) and numerous papers. He has led the development of several influential open-source software packages, notably Ptolemy and its various spinoffs. He received the B.S. degree in Computer Science from Yale University, New Haven, CT, in 1979, the S.M. degree in EECS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, in 1981, and the Ph.D. degree in EECS from the University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, in 1986. From 1979 to 1982 he was a member of technical staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, in the Advanced Data Communications Laboratory. He is a co-founder of BDTI, Inc., where he is currently a Senior Technical Advisor, and has consulted for a number of other companies. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, was an NSF Presidential Young Investigator, and won the 1997 Frederick Emmons Terman Award for Engineering Education.

James Overholt
Senior Research Scientist in Robotics
U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center

Title: Practical to Tactical: Making the Case for a Shift in Ground Vehicle Robotics

Abstract: Army ground robotics has been a strategic research and development focus for well over 20 years. In the past 10 years, over 8,000 robotic systems (at its peak in 2010) have been fielded in Southwest Asia. This figure is impressive, especially when you consider that in 2004 it required 5 separate vendors to provide 162 robots for only a few select missions. Currently, these systems are used for a variety of critical combat activities but mobile robots are rarely (if ever) used state-side for CONUS operations. In addition, as much as robots have contributed to the Warfighters success in various scenarios (most notably in EOD activities in Iraq and Afghanistan), the primary mode of operation of our current robot fleet is still either Remote Control or Tele-Operation. This is in stark contrast to the intelligent navigation capabilities being shown at our leading universities and other robot OEMs. So where is the disconnect?

This talk will focus on addressing this very question from various points of view; including new efforts to heavily leverage DOT programs and commercial automotive S&T to facilitate robotics on military base and installations, and to segment the potential robotics mission work-space into 2 simple classifications of environmental features and human intent of the indigenous population. This will lead to some interesting findings in the minimum barriers of technology entry and whether or not advanced autonomy is really needed at all.

Bio: In March 2010, James L. Overholt, Ph.D. was appointed to a Scientific and Professional service position (ST), a system equal to Senior Executive Service, designed for specifically qualified scientific and professional personnel engaged in research and development. As the Senior Research Scientist in Robotics for the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Dr. Overholt is responsible for defining the strategic vision for robotics science and technology and for conducting, mentoring, and sponsoring cutting edge robotics research. In his nearly 30 years of service to the Army, Dr. Overholt has held numerous lead research positions. Dr. Overholt was the U.S. co-chair of the Multi Autonomous Ground-robotics International Challenge (MAGIC) event held in Australia in November 2010. In 2009 Dr. Overholt was appointed Director of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Joint Ground Robotics Enterprise (JGRE), where he was responsible for providing science and technology guidance to the OSD with an emphasis on closing gaps between war fighter requirements and technology, and coordinating efforts between Services to ensure interoperability and commonality among unmanned systems and supporting the strategic goals of the OSD and the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L). From 2007 to May 2009, Dr. Overholt served as the Director of the Joint Center for Robotics (JCR) at the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Tank Automotive Research and Development Center (TARDEC). He was responsible for establishing a portfolio of programs that strived to rapidly transition robotics technology into the hands of the Soldier, leveraging industry and academia. From October 2006 to May 2007, Dr. Overholt was detailed to the Army Research Office (ARO) as the acting PM for all academic extra-mural robotics and intelligent controls research programs.

Dr. Overholt earned a BS in Physics from the Lawrence Institute of Technology, and a MS in Systems Engineering from Oakland University. He earned his Ph. D. from Oakland University in 1999, emphasizing the development of neural-fuzzy sensor fusion behavioral architectures for unmanned vehicles. His current research interests are machine intelligence and high-speed mobile robot navigation and control. Dr. Overholt is the co-author of more than 50 scientific papers, and was awarded the Bronze Medal at the 2006 Army Science Conference for his contributions in writing "High Speed Hazard Avoidance for Unmanned Ground Vehicles in Emergency Situations."

Mark Rice
Maritime Applied Physics Corporation

Title: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as an Environment for Intelligent Systems Performance Measurement

Abstract: Many intelligent systems work in spatial and temporal environments where Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide the environment for enabling control and measuring performance. Whether the application involves an automated highway, an unmanned marine vessel, or an unmanned air vehicle, there are GIS based options for the intelligent system designer. This talk will review recent examples of GIS use in unmanned systems where control and performance measurement are enabled by GIS.

Bio: Mark is President of the Maritime Applied Physics Corporation (MAPC, He has a BA in Physics from the University of Maine and is a licensed Professional Engineer. Mark's first experience with unmanned systems occurred in 1978 when he was the operations officer for the Navy's first 20,000 foot unmanned submersible. Since that time, he has worked as an engineer on various unmanned land, air, and sea systems. Mark formed Maritime Applied Physics Corporation in 1986 and has overseen its growth from a 1 person company to its current 75-person staff. MAPC has both R&D and production work with offices in Baltimore, Maryland, Arlington, Virginia and Brunswick, Maine. MAPC currently designs and manufactures electro-mechanical systems that range from submarine and surface ship components to unmanned systems. Mark is a member of the Maryland/D.C. District Export Council and is the Chair of the National Advisory Board to the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Holly Yanco
Professor and Associate Chair of Computer Science
University of Massachusetts Lowell

Title: Evaluate Early, Evaluate Often: A Design Process for Creating Better Robot Systems

Abstract: System evaluations have been conducted in robotics and human-robot interaction for many years. These evaluations usually take place after a robot system has been designed and built as a way to validate the completed system. However, by performing evaluation only at the end of the development cycle, we lose opportunities to create systems with even better performance. Taking inspiration from human-computer interaction, we can design more effective robot systems for human-robot interaction by incorporating user feedback in the initial design phase. This talk will present a number of such formative evaluations from a variety of robotics domains, including assistive robotics and telepresence robot systems.

Bio: Dr. Holly Yanco is Professor and Associate Chair of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her research interests include human-robot interaction, multi-touch computing, interface design, robot autonomy, fostering trust of autonomous systems, evaluation methods for human-robot interaction, and the use of robots in K-12 education to broaden participation in computer science. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, including a Career Award, the Army Research Office, Microsoft, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dr. Yanco is the General Chair of the 2012 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. She served on the Executive Council of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) from 2006-2009 and was the Symposium Chair for AAAI from 2002-2005. She was awarded senior membership in AAAI in 2011. Dr. Yanco has a PhD and MS in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a BA in Computer Science and Philosophy from Wellesley College.

Created January 31, 2012, Updated September 21, 2016