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Jonsson School Distinguished Lecture Series - Dr. George J. Pappas, Safe Autonomy with Deep Learning in Feedback Loop
Friday, Jan. 24
11 a.m. - noon Location: ECSS Engineering and Computer Science South, ECSS 2.102 - TI Auditorium

George J. Pappas

University of Pennsylvania

ABSTRACT: Deep learning has been extremely successful in computer vision and perception.  Inspired by this success in perceiving environments, deep learning is now one of the main sensing modalities in autonomous robots, including driverless cars.  The recent success of deep reinforcement learning in chess or AlphaGo suggests that robot planning control will soon be performed by deep learning in a model free manner, disrupting traditional model-based engineering design.  However, recent crashes in driverless cars as well as adversarial attacks in deep networks have exposed the brittleness of deep learning perception which then leads to catastrophic decisions.  In this talk, we will show our approach in ensuring the robustness and safety of autonomous robots that use deep learning as a sensor in the control loop. Using ideas from robust control, we develop tools to analyze the robustness of deep networks that ensure that the perception of the environment is more accurate. Critical to our approach is quantifying the uncertainty of correct classification of semantic objects in the environment.  Autonomous mapping, planning, and control need to be embrace and mitigate the uncertainty caused by deep learning in the feedback loop, leading to autonomous robots that operate safely in unknown but learned environments.  

BIOGRAPHY:   George J. Pappas is the UPS Foundation Professor and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a secondary appointment in the Departments of Computer and Information Sciences, and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. He is member of the GRASP Lab and the PRECISE Center. He has previously served as the Deputy Dean for Research in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. His research focuses on control theory and in particular, hybrid systems, embedded systems, hierarchical and distributed control systems, with applications to unmanned aerial vehicles, distributed robotics, green buildings, and biomolecular networks. He is a Fellow of IEEE, IFAC, and has received various awards such as the Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize, the George S. Axelby Award, the O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award, the National Science Foundation PECASE, and the George H. Heilmeier Faculty Excellence Award.

Refreshments will be served at 10:45 am.

Persons with disabilities may submit a request for accommodations to participate in this event at UT Dallas' ADA website. You may also call (972) 883-5331 for assistance or send an email to [email protected]. All requests should be received no later than 2 business days prior to the event.
Contact Info:
Leiane Davis , 972-883-6851
Questions? Email me.

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