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57th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, Miami Beach, FL, USA, December 17-19, 2018

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Technical Program
CSS Executive Committee Brief
Guidelines for CDC Speakers
(by Yutaka Yamamoto)
Bode Lecture
Semi-Plenary Lectures
Tutorial Sessions
Technical Program
Program at a Glance


Aside from the technical sessions, the 2018 CDC will feature four semi-plenary lectures and the Bode Lecture.

The Bode Lecture will be presented by Prof. Mark Spong from the University of Texas, Dallas.

The Semi-Plenary speakers will be:

  • Prof. Maurice Heemels from the Eindhoven University of Technology.
  • Prof. Sean Meyn from the University of Florida.
  • Prof. Yasamin Mostofi from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • Prof. Rodolphe Sepulchre from the University of Cambridge.

The complete Technical Program can be consulted here

Details about the proposed Workshops can be consulted here

Bode Lecture:

Speaker: Mark Spong, University of Texas, Dallas.

Title: The Centrality of Control Theory in Robotics

Abstract. The notion of what constitutes a robot has evolved considerably over the past five decades, from simple manipulator arms to large networks of interconnected autonomous and semi-autonomous agents. A constant in this evolutionary development has been the central nature of control theory in robotics to enable a vast array of applications in manufacturing automation, field and service robotics, medical robotics and other areas. In this talk we will present an historical perspective of control in robotics together with specific results in passivity-based control and control of underactuated robots. Finally, we will speculate about the future role of control theory in robotics in the era of human-robot interaction, machine learning, and big data analytics.

Biography. Mark W. Spong received the Doctor of Science degree in systems science and mathematics in 1981 from Washington University in St. Louis. He has held faculty positions at Lehigh University, Cornell University, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently, he is a professor of Systems Engineering, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and holder of the Excellence in Education Chair in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas. He was Dean of the Jonsson School at UT Dallas from 2008-2017. During his tenure as dean he added four departments of engineering, nine new degree programs, and more than doubled the number of students and faculty. Spong is past president of the IEEE Control Systems Society, and a fellow of both the IEEE and the IFAC. His main research interests are in robotics, mechatronics, and nonlinear control theory. He has authored or coauthored more than 300 technical articles, five books, and holds one patent. His notable awards include the 2018 Bode Lecture Prize from the IEEE Control Systems Society, the 2016 Nyquist Lecture Prize from the ASME, the 2011 Pioneer in Robotics Award from the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, the first IROS Fumio Harashima Award for Innovative Technologies in 2007, the Senior Scientist Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Distinguished Member Award from the IEEE Control Systems Society, the John R. Ragazzini and O. Hugo Schuck Awards from the American Automatic Control Council, and the IEEE Third Millennium Medal.

Semi-Plenary Lectures:

Speaker: Maurice Heemels, Eindhoven University of Technology.

Title: Resource-aware control in a hyperconnected world with applications to cooperative driving

Abstract. Computer and communication technologies are rapidly developing leading to an increasingly networked and wireless world. This raises new challenging questions in the context of networked control systems, especially when the computation, communication and energy resources for control are limited. To efficiently use the available resources it is desirable to limit the control actions to instances when the system really needs attention. Unfortunately, classical time-triggered control schemes are based on performing sensing and actuation actions periodically in time (irrespective of the state of the system) rather than when the system actually needs attention. This points towards the consideration of event-triggered control as an alternative and (more) resource-aware control paradigm, as it seems natural to trigger control actions by well-designed events involving the system's state, output or any other locally available information: "To act or not to act, that is the question in event-triggered control." The objectives of this talk are to introduce the basics in the field of resource-aware control for distributed and multi-agent systems and to discuss recent advances and open questions. The focus will be on event-triggered control, although we will also touch upon self-triggered control as an alternative paradigm for resource-aware feedback control. We will show that various forms of hybrid systems, combining continuous and discrete dynamics, play instrumental roles in the analysis and the design of event-triggered and self-triggered controllers. The main developments will be illustrated in the context of cooperative driving exploiting wireless communication. The effects of delays, packet losses and (denial-of-service) attacks on the event-triggered cooperative adaptive cruise control (CACC) strategies for vehicle platooning will be discussed and experimental results will be presented.

Biography. Maurice Heemels received the M.Sc. degree in mathematics and the Ph.D. degree in control theory (both summa cum laude) from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), the Netherlands, in 1995 and 1999, respectively. From 2000 to 2004, he was with the Electrical Engineering Department, TU/e and from 2004 to 2006 with the Embedded Systems Institute (ESI). Since 2006, he has been with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, TU/e, where he is currently a Full Professor. He held visiting professor positions at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Switzerland (2001) and at the University of California at Santa Barbara (2008). In 2004, he worked also at the company Oce, the Netherlands. His current research interests include hybrid and cyber-physical systems, networked and event-triggered control systems and constrained systems including model predictive control. Maurice served/s on the editorial boards of Automatica, Nonlinear Analysis: Hybrid Systems, Annual Reviews in Control, and IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control. He was a recipient of a personal VICI grant awarded by STW (Dutch Technology Foundation, NWO/TTW) and is the current chair of the IFAC Technical Committee on Networked Systems. He is the founding father of a bi-annual PhD school on multi-disciplinary research topics such as hybrid, networked and cyber-physical systems educating over 600 PhD students worldwide since 2003. He was IPC (co-)chair of IFAC ADHS'12, ECC'13, IFAC NECSYS'13, and IFAC ADHS'18. He is a Fellow of the IEEE. See for more information.

Speaker: Sean Meyn, University of Florida.

Title: From alchemy to electricity: how our community can create breakthroughs in reinforcement learning

Abstract. The goal of reinforcement learning is at the core of the CSS mission: computation of policies that are approximately optimal, subject to information constraints. From the beginning, control foundations have lurked behind the RL curtain: Watkins’ Q-function looks suspiciously like the Hamiltonian in Pontryagin’s minimum principle, and (since Van Roy’s thesis) it has been known that our beloved adjoint operators are the key to understanding what is going on with TD-learning. This talk will briefly survey the goals and foundations of RL, and present new work showing how to dramatically accelerate convergence based on a combination of control techniques. The talk will include a wish-list of open problems in both deterministic and stochastic control settings.

Biography. Sean Meyn was raised by the beach in California. Following his BA in mathematics at UCLA, he moved on to pursue a PhD with Peter Caines at McGill University. After about 20 years as a professor of ECE at the University of Illinois, in 2012 he moved to beautiful Gainesville. He is now Professor and Robert C. Pittman Eminent Scholar Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida, and director of the Laboratory for Cognition and Control. During 2018 he is splitting his time between Berkeley, Stanford, NREL, Inria Paris, and Ecole Polytechnique. His interests span many aspects of stochastic control, stochastic processes, information theory, and optimization. For the past decade, his applied research has focused on engineering, markets, and policy in energy systems.

Speaker: Yasamin Mostofi, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Title: Robotics Meet Wireless Communications: Opportunities and Challenges

Abstract. Recent years have seen a great progress in the area of robotics. Communication signals are also ubiquitous these days. In this talk, I will explore the opportunities and challenges at this intersection, for robotic sensing and communication. In the first part of the talk, I will focus on robotic sensing, and ask the following question "Can everyday communication signals, such as WiFi signals, give new sensing capabilities to unmanned vehicles?" For instance, imagine two unmanned vehicles arriving behind thick concrete walls. Can they image every square inch of the invisible area through the walls with only WiFi signals? I will show that this is indeed possible, and discuss how our methodology for the co-optimization of path planning and communication has enabled the first demonstration of 3D imaging through walls with only drones and WiFi. I will also discuss other new sensing capabilities that have emerged from our approach, such as occupancy estimation and crowd analytics with only WiFi signals. In the second part of the talk, I will focus on communication-aware robotics, a term coined to refer to robotic systems that explicitly take communication issues into account in their decision making. This is an emerging area of research that not only allows a team of unmanned vehicles to attain the desired connectivity during their operation, but can also extend the connectivity of the existing communication systems through the use of mobility. I will then discuss our latest theoretical and experimental results along this line. I will show how each robot can go beyond the over-simplified but commonly-used disk model for connectivity, and realistically model the impact of channel uncertainty for the purpose of path planning. I will then show how the unmanned vehicles can properly co-optimize their communication, sensing and navigation objectives under resource constraints. This co-optimized approach can result in a significant performance improvement and resource saving, as we shall see. I will also discuss the role of human collaboration in these networks.

Biography. Yasamin Mostofi received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. She is currently a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara. Yasamin is the recipient of the 2016 Antonio Ruberti Prize from the IEEE Control Systems Society, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award, and the IEEE 2012 Outstanding Engineer Award of Region 6 (more than 10 Western U.S. states), among other awards. Her research is at the intersection of the two areas of robotics and communications, on mobile sensor networks. Current research thrusts include X-ray vision for robots, communication-aware robotics, human-robot networks, occupancy estimation, RF sensing, and see-through imaging. Her research has appeared in several reputable news venues such as BBC, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Engadget, TechCrunch, NSF Science360, ACM News, and IEEE Spectrum, among others. Yasamin is currently an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems. She has served on the Control Systems Society conference editorial board 2008-2013.

Speaker: Rodolphe Sepulchre, University of Cambridge.

Title: Selective Feedback Amplification

Abstract. TBD

Biography. Rodolphe Sepulchre is Professor of Engineering at Cambridge University and a fellow of Sidney Sussex College. His research interests are in dynamics, control and optimization of nonlinear problems. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Systems and Control Letters and has been an Associate Editor for SIAM Journal of Control and Optimization, the Journal of Nonlinear Science, and Mathematics for Control, Signals, and Systems. In 2008, he was awarded the IEEE Control Systems Society Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize. He is a fellow of IEEE and SIAM. He has been IEEE CSS distinguished lecturer between 2010 and 2015. A focus of his current research is the ERC advanced grant "Switchlets", motivated by neurophysiological questions and aiming at a multiresolution control theory of excitable systems. He co-authored the monographs "Constructive Nonlinear Control" (Springer-Verlag, 1997) and "Optimization on Matrix Manifolds" (Princeton University Press, 2008).
PaperPlaza Submission site
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Key dates (2018)
Submission Site Open:January 4
Initial Paper
Submissions to L-CSS with CDC Option Due:
March 6
Invited Session
Proposals Due:
March 10
Initial Paper
Submissions Due:
March 20
Workshop Proposals Due:May 1
Paper and Workshop
Decision Notification:
Best Student Paper
Nominations Opens:
July 20
Final Submission Open:August 1
Registration Opens:August 1
Best Student Paper
Nominations Closes:
August 15
Accepted Papers Due:September 20
Early Bird Closes:October 1
Online Registration Closes:December 5
Conference opens:December 17
Conference closes:December 19

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