ICRA 2013 Workshop

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Networked Multi-Agent Systems: From Theory to Practice

A half-day workshop to be held on Monday, May 6, at ICRA 2013 in Karlsruhe, Germany.


Nora Ayanian:Nora Ayanian is a postdoctoral associate in the Distributed Robotics Lab at MIT. She received the MSE (2008) and PhD (2011) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests are in multi-robot coordination in uncertain environments with provable guarantees.

Stephanie Gil: Stephanie Gil is a PhD candidate with Prof. Daniela Rus in the Distributed Robotics Lab at MIT. Her research interests are in multi-robot control, distributed optimization of ad hoc communication networks, and space robotics. She completed her MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, and her BS in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell, where she also worked on the NASA Mars Exploration Rover team.

Daniela Rus: Daniela Rus is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT. She also leads CSAIL’s Distributed Robotics Laboratory. Rus’ research interests include distributed robotics, mobile computing and programmable matter, transportation, security, environmental modeling and monitoring, underwater exploration, and agriculture.

MIT Distributed Robotics Lab @ CSAIL


Development of new capabilities and theoretical performance guarantees for multi-agent systems has been a topic of primary interest both in the literature and in practical applications. Coordination control allows multi-agent systems to tackle complex tasks, often times with applicability over multiple problem scopes from underwater to aerial to biological arenas. However, the capabilities of these systems inherently depend on communication infrastructures and hinge on the assumption of adequate inter-agent communication.

Networking and communication stands as a roadblock in transitioning theory to application for multi-agent systems. Finding solutions to this problem that are satisfactory both in allowing development of theoretical performance guarantees and that are robust to common challenges in practical implementations such as intermittent connectivity, noise, and interference requires a melding of expertise in both areas.

The goal of this workshop is to discuss recent and targeted advances in networked multi-agent system capabilities, identify the major needs and challenges in translating these capabilities to practical arenas, and encourage an exchanging of ideas from robotics and communication experts to tackle these challenges towards development of high performing and reliable networked multi-agent systems for the real-world.

Topics We Will Address

  • Real-time communication in multi-hop networks
  • Prioritized communication over multi-agent networks
  • Communication-aware multi-robot planning
  • Network optimization in realistic communication environments
  • Provably correct control in uncertain environments
  • Tradeoffs in performance quality, correctness and convergence
  • Cooperation and communication in heterogeneous teams
  • Coordination with intermittent communication
  • Theoretical solutions applicable across air, sea, ground, and biological applications
  • Design of experimentation for challenging and supporting theoretical claims
  • Anomaly detection in multi-agent systems
  • Formal models and methods for real-time systems
  • Tradeoffs between guarantees and computational efficiency
  • Developing theory to accommodate events inconsistent with assumptions, i.e. loss of global positioning data

Invited Speakers

Keynote Speaker Dina Katabi, MIT

Vijay Kumar and Philip Dames (presenter), University of Pennsylvania

Nathan Michael, Carnegie Mellon University

Yasamin Mostofi and Yuan Yan (presenter), UC Santa Barbara

Lynne Parker University of Tennessee Knoxville

Gaurav Sukhatme, University of Southern California

Workshop Submissions

Submissions will be presented in 10 minute talks, with 2 additional minutes for questions.

  • Dimitra Panagou, Dusan M. Stipanovic, Petros G. Voulgaris, and Mansour Karkoub, UIUC & Texas A&M
    Multi-objective control for networked multi-agent systems using Lyapunov-like barrier functions"
  • Mihail Pivtoraiko, Rattanachai Ramaithitima and Vijay Kumar, UPenn
    Generating Fast Maneuvers for Groups of Networked UAVs
  • Maurizio Di Rocco, Federico Pecora, and Alessandro Saffiotti, Orebro University
    From consensus to reasoning: planning multiple goals with multiple robots
  • Jory Denny, Andrew Giese, Aditya Mahadevan, Arnaud Marfaing, Rachel Glockenmeier, Colton Revia, Samuel Rodriguez, and Nancy M. Amato, Texas A&M
    Multi-Robot Caravanning
  • Alyssa Pierson and Mac Schwager, BU
    Adaptive Trust in Multi-Robot Coverage Control


Schedule is subject to change!

Time Speaker Title
14:00 - 14:10 Opening
14:10 - 14:50 Keynote: Dina Katabi, MIT CarSpeak: A Content-centric Network for Autonomous Driving
14:50 - 15:05 Nathan Michael, CMU Cooperative Multi-Robot Estimation and Control for Radio Source Localization
15:05 - 15:20 Yasamin Mostofi and Yuan Yan, UCSB Co-optimization of sensing, communications, and navigation in mobile robotic networks
15:20 - 15:30 Roundtable Discussion
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 - 16:15 Vijay Kumar and Philip Dames, UPenn Decentralized Multi-Robot Exploration With Intermittent Access to the Cloud
16:15 - 16:30 Lynne Parker, UT Knoxville Towards Communication-Aware Coalition Formation in Heterogeneous Teams
16:30 - 16:45 Gaurav Sukhatme, USC The Digital Ocean: Experiments in Multi-robot Marine Exploration
16:45 - 17:00 Roundtable Discussion
17:00 - 18:00 Workshop Submissions 10-minute talks with 2 minutes for questions
18:00 - 18:15 Discussion and closing
18:15 End
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