Optimal Data Rate Estimation and Model Detection for Safe Autonomy

Sayan Mitra — University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
EEB 132

Abstract: Building a safe autonomous system will involve connecting a number of perception, monitoring, and decision components over a bandwidth-constrained network. Secondly, many of these components rely heavily on models. Based on these two observations, we motivate a new line of theoretical investigation on data-rate optimal state estimation and model detection. We introduce the notion of estimation entropy that captures the minimal data rate needed for state estimation of dynamical and switched systems. While there are parallels with the information-theoretic counterparts, this notion of estimation bounds the worst-case errors which is often necessary for reasoning about safety. As we believe that computing the estimation entropy of a system exactly will be difficult, we provide upper bounds. We present an algorithm for state estimation over finite bandwidth channels that matches this upper bound. Building on this estimator, we then present an algorithm that can detect the correct model of a system from a set of candidate models. We will conclude with a discussion of switched systems and connections with formal verification.

Biography: Sayan Mitra is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an affiliate professor of Computer Science. He is the Associate director of research at the recently formed Center for Autonomy. His research interests lie around formal verification, autonomous systems, safety and privacy in control systems, and distributed computing. He has authored a textbook on verification of cyber-physical systems (to be published by MIT press). His research group has developed several leading tools for verification and synthesis of hybrid systems.  He holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, MSc from the Indian Institute of Science, and a Bachelors’ Degree in Electrical Engineering from Jadavpur University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech (2008), and has held visiting faculty positions at Oxford University, TU Vienna, and Kirtland Air Force Research Laboratory. Sayan received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award, AFOSR Young Investigator Research Program Award, IEEE-HKN C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Teaching Award, a RiSE Fellowship, a Seibel Research Grant, and several best paper awards.

Host: Jyotirmoy Vinay Deshmukh