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Keynote Speakers


John Krum

Where Do You Want to Go Today? Challenges in Understanding Location

John Krumm, PhD

Microsoft Research, USA

Talk Abstract:

Location is important to the survival of every mobile creature for finding food, shelter, companions, and entertainment. The rise of mobile computing gives us opportunities to help people satisfy these needs using algorithms and data. Researchers have found a rich vein of questions and prospects around location, including how to sense location without exhausting a phone’s battery and how to use this location data to infer the mobile user’s context. They have used location data to predict destinations and paths, to create personalized driving routes, and to make road maps. Commercialization of these ideas leads to concerns about location privacy, which researchers have also addressed, producing some surprising results. This talk will describe new research on these topics in location and also suggest some promising new directions.


John Krumm graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1993 with a PhD in Robotics and a thesis on texture analysis in images. He worked at the Robotics Center of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the next four years. His main projects there were computer vision for object recognition for use in robots and vehicles. He has been at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington, USA since 1997, and is currently a principal researcher. He concentrates on location tracking of people and devices and on methods to use location data to benefit the user. He holds 45 U.S. patents. He was a PC chair for UbiComp 2007 and is a PC chair for the ACM SIGSPATIAL conference in 2013. He served on the editorial board of IEEE Pervasive Computing Magazine, and is a coeditor in chief for the Journal of Location Based Services.


Michio Sugeno

Why can we think?

Prof. Michio Sugeno

Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan                                                                     

Talk Abstract:

We perceive with language and think with language. Thinking is concerned with internal phenomena, while perception is concerned with external phenomena. In this talk, we explore human ability of thinking based on language. Any higher-order functions of the brain are concerned with language. Among them, thinking is the highest-order brain function. “What enables us to think?” and “how do infants begin to think?” To answer these questions, we shall refer to Systemic Functional Linguistics initiated by Halliday in 1960s.

In his seminal study on “learning how to mean”, Hallidy thoroughly explored the language development of infants by daily observations. The development from Protolanguage to Language is divided into three phases where Protolanguage means the language of infants and Language means Human Adult Language (HAL). In the phase I, infants develop primary consciousness with learning how to mean. In the phase II, grammar emerges and infants begin to think. Finally in the phase III, infants develop higher-order consciousness with learning to speak HAL.

The most essential key for human thinking is grammatical logic, where grammar is considered as a driving force for higher-order consciousness. In this talk, we focus on two kinds of grammatical logic: TRANSITIVITY (structure of clauses) as primary logic and expansion patterns (relations between two clauses) in clause complex as higher-order logic.


After graduating from the Department of Physics, The University of Tokyo, Michio Sugeno worked at Mitsubishi Atomic Power Industry. Then, he served the Tokyo Institute of Technology as Research Associate, Associate Professor and Professor from 1965 to 2000. After retiring from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, he worked as Laboratory Head at the Brain Science Institute, RIKEN from 2000 to 2005, and then, as Distinguished Visiting Professor at Doshisha University from 2005 to 2010. He is currently Emeritus Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, and Emeritus Researcher at the European Centre for Soft Computing, Spain.
He was President of the Japan Society for Fuzzy Theory and Systems from 1991 to 1993, and also President of the International Fuzzy Systems Association from 1997 to 1999. He is the first recipient of the IEEE Pioneer Award in Fuzzy Systems with Zadeh in 2000. He also received the 2010 IEEE Frank Rosenblatt Award and Kampét de Feriét Award in 2012.


Vladimir Marik

Industrial Applications of Multi-Agent Systems:
Trends, Obstacles & Challenges 

Prof. Vladimír Mařík

Czech Technical University, CZ                                                                               

Talk Abstract:

The talk will provide the state-of-the-art overview of industrial applications of multi-agent (MAS) technologies with special focus to the three following areas:

(i) real-time manufacturing control,
(ii) production planning, scheduling and logistics, and
(iii) smart grids.

Tasks suitable for MAS deployment will be identified and particular industrial uses cases and applications presented. Relevant MAS methodologies and techniques (like architectures, communication and negotiation strategies, learning, reasoning and meta-reasoning, data synchronization and coherence, adjustable autonomy, semantic knowledge exploration, etc.) will be critically evaluated. Focus of attention will be given to technology trends documenting significant convergence of MAS and software engineering approaches. Especially, relationships of MAS and SOA techniques as well as of MAS-oriented semantics and web technologies will be discussed. Role of simulation, especially of the multi-agent simulation of multi-agent systems will highlighted. Experience with simulation and its step-by-step transfer to real-time control will be summarized. The main obstacles for of broader acceptability and deployment of MAS technologies in industry will be identified and discussed


Vladimír Mařík  acts as Professor and Head, Department of Cybernetics, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic since 1999. In parallel to his academic carrier, he has been involved in industrial research:   He acted as the Founder and Managing Director of the Rockwell Automation Research Center (1993-2009), and has been appointed  Managing Director of the high-tech company CertiCon, a.s. in 2010.  His interests include distributed AI, multi-agent systems, knowledge based systems, planning and scheduling for manufacturing, etc. He is author or coauthor of 5 monographs, 140 conference papers, 40 journal papers, and coeditor of 12 books. He has been involved in many industrial and defense projects as principle investigator (e.g. for Siemens, Medtronic, Airbus Industries, Bosch, US Air Force Research and Office for Naval Research, etc.)  Prof. Mařík acted as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on SMC, Part C in the period 2005-2012. 


Alcherio Martinoli

Modeling and Control of Distributed Stochastic Robotic Systems

Prof. Alcherio Martinoli

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland                                    


Talk Abstract: 

Technological advances in communication, embedded computing, energy storage, sensors and actuators enable an increasingly ubiquitous deployment of distributed, mobile, robotic systems in the real world. However, often such systems are severely constrained in their resources by cost, volume, or mass considerations imposed by the targeted application. Such constraints typically result in an increased stochasticity of the node behavior that has to be captured and controlled with appropriate methods in order to obtain a more predictable behavior at the collective system level. In this seminar, I will describe a few recipes that allowed us to achieve such result under peculiar scenarios. In particular, I will focus on a multi-level modeling framework that has been instrumental for efficiently applying a number of control design and optimization techniques. I will support the discussion with various case studies concerned with simple avoidance, diffusion, aggregation, and assembly of nodes to illustrate such methods. Despite the experimental scenarios related to these case studies are characterized by different environmental templates and capabilities of the individual robotic nodes in terms of computation, mobility, sensing, and actuation, I will show that the overall multi-level modeling framework remains the same. Finally, I will conclude my seminar with some of the lessons we learned over the last eighteen years of research in this area and extrapolate some hints for future research directions to overcome limitations of the current modeling and control methods.


Alcherio Martinoli has a Master in Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). He is currently Associate Professor at EPFL and director of the Distributed Intelligent Systems and Algorithms Laboratory (DISAL). He has more than eighteen years expertise in the area of robotics and intelligent systems, including one year of research activities at the ETHZ, one year at a Spanish Research Council institute in Madrid, Spain, and more than three years at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, U.S.A. His research interests focus on techniques to design, control, model, and optimize distributed, intelligent systems, including multi-robot systems, sensor and actuator networks, and intelligent vehicles.