Dr Nick Hawes

Reader in Autonomous Intelligent Robotics

School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Email: n.a.hawes@cs.bham.ac.uk
Twitter: @hawesie
Phone: +44 (0) 121 41 43739
Office: 133 (first floor, back right)
Office Hours: Mon 12:00, Tues 11:00 (term-time only)
Availability: Doodle MeetMe
[hanheideetal2011dora] Marc Hanheide, Charles Gretton, Richard Dearden, Nick Hawes, Jeremy L. Wyatt, Andrzej Pronobis, Alper Aydemir, Moritz Golbelbecker and Hendrik Zender. Exploiting probabilistic knowledge under uncertain sensing for efficient robot behaviour. In Proceedings of the 22nd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI'11). July 2011. [pdf] [bib]
Abstract. Robots must perform tasks efficiently and reliably while acting under uncertainty. One way to achieve efficiency is to give the robot common-sense knowledge about the structure of the world. Reliable robot behaviour can be achieved by modelling the uncertainty in the world probabilistically. We present a robot system that combines these two approaches and demonstrate the improvements in efficiency and reliability that result. Our first contribution is a probabilistic relational model integrating common-sense knowledge about the world in general, with observations of a particular environment. Our second contribution is a continual planning system which is able to plan in the large problems posed by that model, by automatically switching between decision-theoretic and classical procedures. We evaluate our system on object search tasks in two different real-world indoor environments. By reasoning about the trade-offs between possible courses of action with different informational effects, and exploiting the cues and general structures of those environments, our robot is able to consistently demonstrate efficient and reliable goal-directed behaviour.
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