purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (agents)
We have now received the review reports on your paper entitled "Autonomous Asteroid Exploration[Improvements of Agent Based Control for Autonomous Spacecraft in Complex Environments]" submitted to the IEEE CIM Special Issue on Intelligent Space Systems and Operations. I am pleased to inform you that your paper has been CONDITIONALLY ACCEPTED subject to minor revisions in response to the editor/reviewers' comments (attached at the back of this email).


This is one of two journal papers planned from the Engineering Autonomous Space Software project. It's basically the engineering paper - describing what the project achieved from the engineering perspective and focusing on an asteroid exploration case study. The Computer Science paper which is intended to focus on verification is... umm... in small pieces all over my hard drive having been rejected by both JAIR (Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research) and AIJ (Artificial Intelligence Journal) and pending updated results and possibly a new case study based on autonomous cruise control in cars.
purplecat: (academia)
It is our pleasure to inform you that your abstract entitled "Agent
Control of Cooperating Satellites" submitted to the AI in Space:
Intelligence beyond planet earth, has been accepted for an oral
presentation.


The exciting thing about this paper is that we only had to submit an abstract, but are now required to produce a full paper by the 1st July - I forsee much frantic scribbling in the next month or so. The paper describes the current case study we are working on which is the exploration of asteroid clusters using multiple satellites.

Thank you very much for submitting a paper to CLIMA XII. We are delighted to let
you know that your paper is accepted for presentation and inclusion in the
Springer LNAI Proceedings.


This paper is "A Formal Semantics for Brahms" and is really the baby of my PhD Student (using the phrase "my PhD Student" here to refer to someone for whom I'm tenuously 3rd supervisor in a vague "the university admin can't cope with RA's supervising PhD students" kind of way). I did do a little polishing on the paper so I'm not too embarrased by the author credit. Brahms is an agent programming language used by NASA to model human-robot interaction. We want to do some model checking (verification) of these models but that means we needed a semantics for the language first which said PhD student had been diligently working on for about a year now.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/41470.html.
purplecat: (academia)
It is our pleasure to inform you that your abstract entitled "Agent
Control of Cooperating Satellites" submitted to the AI in Space:
Intelligence beyond planet earth, has been accepted for an oral
presentation.


The exciting thing about this paper is that we only had to submit an abstract, but are now required to produce a full paper by the 1st July - I forsee much frantic scribbling in the next month or so. The paper describes the current case study we are working on which is the exploration of asteroid clusters using multiple satellites.

Thank you very much for submitting a paper to CLIMA XII. We are delighted to let
you know that your paper is accepted for presentation and inclusion in the
Springer LNAI Proceedings.


This paper is "A Formal Semantics for Brahms" and is really the baby of my PhD Student (using the phrase "my PhD Student" here to refer to someone for whom I'm tenuously 3rd supervisor in a vague "the university admin can't cope with RA's supervising PhD students" kind of way). I did do a little polishing on the paper so I'm not too embarrased by the author credit. Brahms is an agent programming language used by NASA to model human-robot interaction. We want to do some model checking (verification) of these models but that means we needed a semantics for the language first which said PhD student had been diligently working on for about a year now.

DEOS

Sep. 12th, 2010 05:14 pm
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (ai)
One of the applications we've been looking at on the project is the problem of orbital debris and how they might be cleaned up. One suggestion, apparently, is to put up a big wall of that forensic jelly stuff they fire bullets into in CSI - then all the debris would hit it and get stuck. Of course, then the problem would be the large wall of flying jelly with bits of broken satellite stuck to it!

Anyway the Germans are building a satellite with a grasping arm. They plan to launch this and test it's ability to grab hold of objects that aren't "co-operating" (i.e. aren't also working to some predefined docking sequence). As far as I can tell the mission objectives consist entirely of going up into orbit, grabbing stuff and then letting go of it again. They haven't any plans to do anything useful with anything they grab, they just want to see if they can. This project is called DEOS (Deutsche Orbitale Servicing Mission). They have some interesting problems to solve, for instance, in space, if you reach forwards with your arm then your body is likely to move backwards!

I'm unreasonably amused by the pictures of DEOS for reasons I can't quite put my finger on )

My preferred solution to the orbital debris is to arm a satellite with a laser and give it some kind of utility function. So it autonomously decides whether something is useless and shoots it if it is. As I keep asking what could possibly go wrong with that? Sadly the most obvious thing that could go wrong is that you'd just end up with lots of very small debris floating around, rather than big bits of debris, so it doesn't solve the problem at all.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/19422.html.

DEOS

Sep. 12th, 2010 05:14 pm
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (ai)
One of the applications we've been looking at on the project is the problem of orbital debris and how they might be cleaned up. One suggestion, apparently, is to put up a big wall of that forensic jelly stuff they fire bullets into in CSI - then all the debris would hit it and get stuck. Of course, then the problem would be the large wall of flying jelly with bits of broken satellite stuck to it!

Anyway the Germans are building a satellite with a grasping arm. They plan to launch this and test it's ability to grab hold of objects that aren't "co-operating" (i.e. aren't also working to some predefined docking sequence). As far as I can tell the mission objectives consist entirely of going up into orbit, grabbing stuff and then letting go of it again. They haven't any plans to do anything useful with anything they grab, they just want to see if they can. This project is called DEOS (Deutsche Orbitale Servicing Mission). They have some interesting problems to solve, for instance, in space, if you reach forwards with your arm then your body is likely to move backwards!

I'm unreasonably amused by the pictures of DEOS for reasons I can't quite put my finger on )

My preferred solution to the orbital debris is to arm a satellite with a laser and give it some kind of utility function. So it autonomously decides whether something is useless and shoots it if it is. As I keep asking what could possibly go wrong with that? Sadly the most obvious thing that could go wrong is that you'd just end up with lots of very small debris floating around, rather than big bits of debris, so it doesn't solve the problem at all.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (ai)
The project I'm currently working on involves the programming of multiple satellites to work in coordination using multi-agent techniques. Steve Chien, from JPL, seems to be one of the key people when it comes to getting artificial intelligence technology onto satellite systems. Have gave about 10 talks at iSAIRAS. I'm not sure if that is typical of the field or a result of various belt-tightening measures (he wasn't the first author on many of the papers he was presenting and actually commented at one point on the difference in style between his various sets of slides). Something similar happened at this year's AAMAS where Medhi Dastani gave about six talks because his institution had refused to fund PhD students to travel to the conference.

Two of Chien's talks involved cooperation between a mixture of satellites and on-ground sensor systems, or robots. One was a very speculative piece of work ultimately aimed at seismic and atmospheric events (e.g. dust devils) on Mars. The practical work involved a small rover robot and a couple of mounted cameras in a constructed "Mars Yard" which could be coordinated to make observations.



Picture of the JPL Mars Yard


The other talk discussed an existing Volcano monitoring sensor web in which involves ground sensors at Mount St. Helen's (and other networks) which can request observations from the EO1 Satellite. This is already deployed and indeed observations were automatically triggered during the Icelandic Volcano eruptions this year. The Volcano web already uses Multi-agent technology so seems very relevant to our work.

EDIT: One thing that we (at least the Liverpool end of the project) hadn't really clocked to, but which became very obvious listening to Chien's talks was that all these satellites have a complex schedule of observations they have to make. These present quite hard planning problems since the observations are constrained not only by the time the satellite is over the right bit of the world but also by data storage, uplink and downlink times and bandwidths and instrument heating. We've been talking about cases where a group of satellites need to move into some configuration in order to make an observation or, alternatively, where one satellite malfunctions (or one of its instruments malfunctions) and they have to change formation to compensate. Clearly we now need to at least think about how such reconfigurations would effect the large scale planning process, as well as the immediate observation at hand.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/19088.html.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (ai)
The project I'm currently working on involves the programming of multiple satellites to work in coordination using multi-agent techniques. Steve Chien, from JPL, seems to be one of the key people when it comes to getting artificial intelligence technology onto satellite systems. Have gave about 10 talks at iSAIRAS. I'm not sure if that is typical of the field or a result of various belt-tightening measures (he wasn't the first author on many of the papers he was presenting and actually commented at one point on the difference in style between his various sets of slides). Something similar happened at this year's AAMAS where Medhi Dastani gave about six talks because his institution had refused to fund PhD students to travel to the conference.

Two of Chien's talks involved cooperation between a mixture of satellites and on-ground sensor systems, or robots. One was a very speculative piece of work ultimately aimed at seismic and atmospheric events (e.g. dust devils) on Mars. The practical work involved a small rover robot and a couple of mounted cameras in a constructed "Mars Yard" which could be coordinated to make observations.



Picture of the JPL Mars Yard


The other talk discussed an existing Volcano monitoring sensor web in which involves ground sensors at Mount St. Helen's (and other networks) which can request observations from the EO1 Satellite. This is already deployed and indeed observations were automatically triggered during the Icelandic Volcano eruptions this year. The Volcano web already uses Multi-agent technology so seems very relevant to our work.

EDIT: One thing that we (at least the Liverpool end of the project) hadn't really clocked to, but which became very obvious listening to Chien's talks was that all these satellites have a complex schedule of observations they have to make. These present quite hard planning problems since the observations are constrained not only by the time the satellite is over the right bit of the world but also by data storage, uplink and downlink times and bandwidths and instrument heating. We've been talking about cases where a group of satellites need to move into some configuration in order to make an observation or, alternatively, where one satellite malfunctions (or one of its instruments malfunctions) and they have to change formation to compensate. Clearly we now need to at least think about how such reconfigurations would effect the large scale planning process, as well as the immediate observation at hand.

Hayabusa

Sep. 11th, 2010 05:40 pm
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
People have been vaguely asking about the conference I attended in Japan. This was iSAIRAS (which stands for the International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space). The attendees were predominantly engineers and roboticists rather than computer scientists. Although many of the talks were way outside my field of expertise, I found much of it really interesting. So, on the grounds that space exploration, is interesting just because, I thought I might blog about some of the talks.

Hayabusa, a round-trip sample collection satellite )

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/18775.html.

Hayabusa

Sep. 11th, 2010 05:40 pm
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
People have been vaguely asking about the conference I attended in Japan. This was iSAIRAS (which stands for the International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space). The attendees were predominantly engineers and roboticists rather than computer scientists. Although many of the talks were way outside my field of expertise, I found much of it really interesting. So, on the grounds that space exploration, is interesting just because, I thought I might blog about some of the talks.

Hayabusa, a round-trip sample collection satellite )
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
In which we show that using AI/Agent based approaches let's you write shorter code, which I will confess, isn't really news in the AI/Agent community but this has gone to a "Space" conference (albeit Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space).

Reviewers' Comments in their entirety:

This is a quite simple approach; not academically sophisticated.
Interesting: related to efficient coding of control algorithms by means of BDI..


It's always nice to know the peer review process is rigourous and robust.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/3136.html.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
In which we show that using AI/Agent based approaches let's you write shorter code, which I will confess, isn't really news in the AI/Agent community but this has gone to a "Space" conference (albeit Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space).

Reviewers' Comments in their entirety:

This is a quite simple approach; not academically sophisticated.
Interesting: related to efficient coding of control algorithms by means of BDI..


It's always nice to know the peer review process is rigourous and robust.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (agents)
Which means I shall be going to toronto in May and is the first "proper" publication (i.e. where there was a chance we might get rejected) to come out of my current project - so I'm pleased about that too. It's for a workshop on Declarative Agent Languages and Technologies (DALT).

It's about designing a clear (declarative) abstraction layer to communicate between satellite control systems and our agent-based decision making system which I'm sure enlightens you all greatly.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
Last week I went to a workshop on Formal Methods for Aerospace in Eindhoven.

The first (invited talk) was from Klaus Havelund of NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory. During the course of discussing the verification of log files, he showed us the start of the following video showing the planned landing of the Mars Science Laboratory.



There is, he noted, a lot that can go wrong.

I was also amused by the second invited speaker's (Henk Blom) discussion of applying probabilistic modeling methods to look at a propose new European Air Traffic Control system in which flight path conflicts would be resolved locally, by pilots with assistance from instruments, rather than ground stations. Basically, if the pilots saw a plane ahead they would take action to avoid that plane without considering where other planes in the airspace might be in order to take a path that would also avoid them. He had managed to show that even with only 8 planes over an area the size of the Netherlands the probability of in flight collisions (given certain assumptions about the probability of various types of pilot error and equipment malfunction) was unacceptably high. As presented this looked a bit as though the designers simply hadn't taken airports into account, but a quick skim of the relevant documentation suggests that they were always proposing that ground control would continue to orchestrate things around airports. Even so, I can imagine he didn't make himself popular when he reported this back to people who had been working on the system for years, building expensives simulators and training pilots to use them.

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