Algorithmic Engines for Control Design

Speaker: Sicun Gao
Affiliation: Postdoctoral Researcher - MIT CSAIL

Abstract: I will describe a framework that aims to accomplish the following goals:

1. Understand the computational complexity of controlling nonlinear and hybrid physical systems. Such problems are commonly considered to be wildly undecidable because of the involvement of real numbers, differential equations, and so on. I will show that reasonable and informative upper bounds can be obtained through a practical formulation.

2. Enhance automation in the design and implementation of control systems through automated reasoning engines. These engines are designed to cope with NP-hard problems, matching the complexity of the problems to be solved. The key is to combine the full power of combinatorial search, numerical optimization, and machine learning methods. I introduce our solver dReal and show some promising experimental results.

3. Certify correctness of control software through formal proofs. To ensure correctness-by-construction of control systems, all algorithms that are used for the design and analysis of these systems should automatically produce mathematical proofs that can be machine-checked. This requires a rigorous formal analysis of techniques in control theory and numerical methods.

Making good progress in these directions is crucial for building computing systems that can physically engage us in intricate and safety-critical ways.

Biography: Sicun Gao is a postdoctoral researcher at MIT CSAIL. He works on rigorous and automated methods for building safe, optimized, and secure cyber-physical systems. He received his PhD in Logic from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012 and his BS in Logic and Mathematics from Peking University in 2006. He is a recipient of the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science Distinguished Dissertation Honorable Mention Award and a silver medal for the Kurt Goedel Research Fellowship Prize.

For more information, contact Prof. Paulo Tabuada ()

Date(s) - Dec 09, 2015
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

E-IV Maxwell Room #57-124
420 Westwood Plaza - 5th Flr. , Los Angeles CA 90095