SE PhD Final Oral Defense of Alphan Ulusoy

1:00 pm on Wednesday, December 18, 2013
3:00 pm on Wednesday, December 18, 2013
15 Saint Mary's Street, Rm 105
TITLE: Optimal Temporal Logic Control of Autonomous Vehicles ABSTRACT: Temporal logics, such as Linear Temporal Logic (LTL) and Computation Tree Logic (CTL), are extensions of propositional logic that can capture temporal relations. Even though temporal logics have been used in model checking of finite systems for quite some time, they have gained popularity as a means for specifying complex mission requirements in path planning and control synthesis problems only recently. This dissertation proposes and evaluates methods and algorithms for optimal path planning and control synthesis for autonomous vehicles where a high-level mission specification expressed in LTL (or a fragment of LTL) must be satisfied. In summary, after obtaining a discrete representation of the overall system, ideas and tools from formal verification and graph theory are leveraged to synthesize provably correct and optimal control strategies. The first part of this dissertation focuses on automatic planning of optimal paths for a group of robots that must satisfy a common high level mission specification. The effect of slight deviations in traveling times on the behavior of the team is analyzed and methods that are robust to bounded non-determinism in traveling times are proposed. The second part focuses on the case where a controllable agent is required to satisfy a high-level mission specification in the presence of other probabilistic agents that cannot be controlled. Efficient methods to synthesize control policies that maximize the probability of satisfaction of the mission specification are presented. The focus of the third part is the problem where an autonomous vehicle is required to satisfy a rich mission specification over service requests occurring at the regions of a partitioned environment. A receding horizon control strategy that makes use of the local information provided by the sensors on the vehicle in addition to the a priori information about the environment is presented. For all of the automatic planning and control synthesis problems that are considered, the proposed algorithms are implemented, evaluated, and validated through experiments and/or simulations. COMMITTEE: Advisor: Calin Belta, SE/ME; Christos G. Cassandras, SE/ECE; Ioannis Ch. Paschalidis, SE/ECE; Sean B. Andersson, SE/ME; Chair: John Baillieul, SE/ME