SICSA DVF Seminar – Dr André G. Pereira

We had our first School seminar of the semester today. The speaker was André G. Pereira visiting Scotland on a SICSA DVF Fellowship. André is working on AI Planning problems, an area that is closely related to the work of our own Constraint Programming research group.

Title: Understanding Neuro-Symbolic Planning

Abstract: In this seminar, we present the area of neuro-symbolic planning, introducing fundamental concepts and applications. We focus on presenting recent research on the problem of learning heuristic functions with machine learning techniques. We discuss the distinctions and particularities between the “model-based” and “model-free” approaches, and the different methods to address the problem. Then, we focus on explaining the behavior of “model-free” approaches. We discuss the generation of the training set, and present sampling algorithms and techniques to improve the quality of the training set. We also discuss how the distribution of samples over the state space of a task, together with the quality of its estimators, are directly related to the quality of the learned heuristic function. Finally, we empirically detail which factors have the greatest impact on the quality of the learned heuristic function.

Biography: Dr. André G. Pereira is a professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. His research aims to develop and explain the behavior of intelligent systems for sequential decision-making problems. Dr. Pereira has authored several papers on top-tier venues such as IJCAI, AAAI, and ICAPS. These papers contribute towards explaining the behavior of heuristic search algorithms, how to use combinatorial optimization-based reasoning to solve planning tasks, and how to use machine learning techniques to produce heuristic functions. Dr. Pereira is a program committee member of IJCAI and AAAI. His doctoral dissertation was awarded second place in the national Doctoral Dissertation Contest on Computer Science (2017), and first place in the national Doctoral Dissertation Contest on Artificial Intelligence (2018). Dr. Pereira advised three awarded students on national events, including first place and finalist in the Scientific Initiation Work Contest (2018, 2022), and finalist in the Master Dissertation Contest on Artificial Intelligence (2020).

Philippe Palanque (University of Toulouse): Harnessing Usability, UX and Dependability for Interactions in Safety Critical Contexts

Abstract: Innovation and creativity are the research drivers of the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community which is currently investing a vast amount of resources in the design and evaluation of “new” user interfaces and interaction techniques, leaving the correct functioning of these interfaces at the discretion of the helpless developers. In the area of formal methods and dependable systems the emphasis is usually put on the correct functioning of the system leaving its usability to secondary-level concerns (if at all addressed). However, designing interactive systems requires blending knowledge from these domains in order to provide operators with enjoyable, usable and dependable systems. The talk will present possible research directions and their benefits for combining several complementary approaches to engineer interactive critical systems. Due to their specificities, addressing this problem requires the definition of methods, notations, processes and tools to go from early informal requirements to deployed and maintained operational interactive systems. The presentation will highlight the benefits of (and the need for) an integrated framework for the iterative design of operators’ procedures and tasks, training material and the interactive system itself. The emphasis will be on interaction techniques specification and validation as their design is usually the main concern of HCI conferences. A specific focus will be on automation that is widely integrated in interactive systems both at interaction techniques level and at application level. Examples will be taken from interactive cockpits on large civil commercial aircrafts (such as the A380), satellite ground segment application and Air Traffic Control workstations.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Philippe Palanque is Professor in Computer Science at the University Toulouse 3 “Paul Sabatier” and is head of the Interactive Critical Systems group at the Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse (IRIT) in France. Since the late 80s he has been working on the development and application of formal description techniques for interactive system. He has worked for more than 10 years on research projects to improve interactive Ground Segment Systems at the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and is also involved in the development of software architectures and user interface modeling for interactive cockpits in large civil aircraft (funded by Airbus). He was involved in the research network HALA! (Higher Automation Levels in Aviation) funded by SESAR programme which targets at building the future European air traffic management system. The main driver of Philippe’s research over the last 20 years has been to address in an even way Usability, Safety and Dependability in order to build trustable safety critical interactive systems. He is the secretary of the IFIP Working group 13.5 on Resilience, Reliability, Safety and Human Error in System Development, was steering committee chair of the CHI conference series at ACM SIGCHI and chair of the IFIP Technical Committee 13 on Human-Computer Interaction.

 

Event details

  • When: 3rd February 2020 11:00 - 12:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: SACHI Seminar Series, School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar