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(Since October 9th, 2012)
Raffaello D'Andrea, ETH Zurich
Title: Acrobatic Flight
Abstract: The key components of feedback control systems -- sensors, actuators, computation, power, and communication -- are continually becoming smaller, lighter, more robust, higher performance, and less expensive. By using appropriate algorithms and system architectures, it is thus becoming possible to "close the loop" on almost any machine, and to create new capabilities that fully exploit their dynamic potential. Flying platforms are particularly well-positioned to take advantage of these technological advancements. This talk will feature our research in the area of acrobatic flight, including the Flying Machine Arena, the Distributed Flight Array, and Actuated Wingsuits.
Biography: Raffaello D'Andrea is professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. He is co-founder of Kiva Systems (recently acquired by Amazon.com), a robotics and logistics company that develops and deploys intelligent automated warehouse systems comprised of thousands of autonomous mobile robots. He was also the faculty advisor and system architect of the Cornell Robot Soccer Team, four time world champions at the international RoboCup competition in Sweden, Australia, Italy, and Japan. In addition, he is an internationally-exhibited new media artist, best known for the Robotic Chair, Table, and Flight Assembled Architecture; he has exhibited his work at various international venues, including the Venice Biennale, the National Gallery of Canada, the Smithsonian, the Spoleto Festival, France’s FRAC Centre, and Ars Electronica.
Jeff S. Shamma, Georgia Institute of Technology
Title: From Distributed Control Systems to Game Theory: There and Back Again
Abstract: Recent years have witnessed significant interest in the area of distributed architecture control systems, with applications ranging from autonomous vehicle teams to communication networks to smart grid. The general setup is a collection of multiple decision-making components interacting locally to achieve a common collective objective. While such architectures readily suggest game theory as a relevant formalism, game theory is better known for its traditional role as a "descriptive" modeling framework in social sciences rather than a "prescriptive" design tool for engineered systems. This talk begins with an overview of how game theory can be used as an effective design approach for distributed architecture control systems, with illustrative examples of distributed coordination. Inspired by new found connections, the talk continues with a discussion of how methods from systems and control can shed new light on more traditional questions in game theory, specifically regarding evolutionary games and agent based modeling.
Biography: Jeff Shamma is the Julian T. Hightower Chair in Systems & Control in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Jeff received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1983 and a PhD in Systems Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988. Prior to returning to Georgia Tech in 2007, he held faculty positions at the University of Minnesota, University of Texas-Austin, and University of California-Los Angeles. Jeff is a recipient of the NSF Young Investigator Award (1992) and the American Automatic Control Council Donald P. Eckman Award (1996), and a Fellow of the IEEE (2006). He previously served on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (2008–2011) and is currently an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics (2009–present) and Games (2012-present) and a Senior Editor for the newly formed IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems.
Lucy Pao, University of Colorado at Boulder
Title: Controlling Wind Energy for Utility Grid Reliability
Abstract: Wind energy is recognized worldwide as cost-effective and environmentally friendly and is among the world's fastest-growing sources of electrical energy. Despite the amazing growth in global wind power installations in recent years, science and engineering challenges still exist. It is commonly reported that the variability of wind is a major obstacle to integrating large amounts of wind energy on the utility grid. Wind's variability creates challenges because power supply and demand must match in order to maintain a constant grid frequency. As wind energy penetration increases to higher levels in many countries, however, systems and control techniques can be used to actively control the power generated by wind turbines and wind farms to help regulate the grid frequency. In this talk, we will first provide an overview of wind energy systems by introducing the primary structural components and operating regions of wind turbines. The operation of the utility grid will be outlined by discussing the electrical system, explaining the importance of preserving grid reliability through controlling the grid frequency (which is a measure of the balance between electrical generation and load), and describing the methods of providing ancillary services for frequency support using conventional generation utilities. We will then present a vision for how wind turbines and wind farms can be controlled to help stabilize and balance the frequency of the utility grid, and we will highlight control methods being developed in industry, national laboratories, and academia for providing active power ancillary services with wind energy. Results of simulation studies as well as experimental field tests will be presented to show the promise of the techniques being developed. We shall close by discussing future research avenues to enable widespread adoption of active power control services provided by wind farms, and how advanced distributed capabilities can reduce the integration cost of wind energy and enable much higher wind energy penetrations while simultaneously maintaining and possibly increasing the reliability of the utility grid.
Biography: Lucy Pao is currently the Richard and Joy Dorf Professor in the Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research interests include the areas of control systems, multisensor data fusion, and haptic and multimodal visual/haptic/audio interfaces. She earned B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Selected recent and current professional society activities include being General Chair for the 2013 American Control Conference, an IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS) Distinguished Lecturer, a member of the IEEE CSS Board of Governors, and a Fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI). Selected recent honors include elevation to IEEE Fellow in 2012, the 2012 IEEE Control Systems Magazine Outstanding Paper Award, and election to Fellow of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) in 2013.
B. Ross Barmish, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Title: Can Control Science Bring New Insights to Stock Trading Research?
Abstract: My answer is "yes." In this lecture, I will make the case that there are some important open problems in finance which are ideally suited for researchers who are well versed in control theory. To this end, I will begin the presentation by quickly explaining what is meant by the notion of "technical analysis" in the stock market. Then I will address, from a control-theoretic point of view, a longstanding conundrum in finance: Why is it that so many asset managers, hedge funds and individual investors trade stock using technical analysis techniques despite the existence of a significant body of literature claiming that such methods are of questionable worth with little or no theoretical rationale? In fact, detractors describe such stock trading methods as "voodoo" and an "anathema to the academic world." To date, in the finance literature, the case for "efficacy" of such stock-trading strategies is based on statistics and empirical back-testing using historical data. With these issues providing the backdrop, my main objective in this lecture is to describe a new theoretical framework for stock trading - based on technical analysis and involving some simple ideas from robust and adaptive control. In contrast to the finance literature, where conclusions are drawn based on statistical evidence from the past, our control-theoretic point of view leads to robust certification theorems describing various aspects of performance. To illustrate how such a formal theory can be developed, I will describe results obtained to date on trend following, one of the most well-known technical analysis strategies in use. Finally, it should be noted that the main point of this talk is not to demonstrate that control-theoretic considerations lead to new "market beating" algorithms. It is to argue that strategies which have heretofore been analyzed via statistical processing of empirical data can actually be studied in a formal theoretical framework.
Biography: B. Ross Barmish received the Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in 1971. In 1972 and 1975 respectively, he received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, both in Electrical Engineering, from Cornell University. From 1975 to 1978, he served as Assistant Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at Yale University. From 1978 to 1984, he was as an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Rochester and in 1984, he joined the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he is currently Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. From 2001 to 2003, he was with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Case Western Reserve University, where he served as Department Chair while holding the endowed Nord Professorship. Over the years, he has been involved in a number of IEEE Control Systems Society activities such as associate editorships, conference chairmanships, the Board of Governors and prize paper committees. He has also served as a consultant for a number of companies and is the author of the textbook New Tools for Robustness of Linear Systems, Macmillan, 1994. Professor Barmish is a Fellow of both the IEEE and IFAC for his contributions to the theory of robustness of dynamical systems. He received the Best Paper Award for Journal Publication in Automatica, covering a three-year period, on two consecutive occasions from the International Federation of Automatic Control. He has also given a number of plenary lectures at major conferences. While his earlier work concentrated on robustness of dynamical systems, his current research, the topic of this Bode lecture, concentrates on building a bridge between feedback control theory and trading in complex financial markets.
Key dates (2013)