University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Artificial Intelligence and Natural Computation seminars > Rule Control of Goal Directed, Reactive, Communicating Robotic Agents

Rule Control of Goal Directed, Reactive, Communicating Robotic Agents

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Host: Prof Jeremy Wyatt

Speaker’s webpage

Abstract: We describe a mid-level multi-threaded robotic agent architecture implemented in the rule languages QuLog and TeleoR. QuLog is a flexibly typed multi-threaded logic & functional & action rules programming language, with a special class of dynamic relations defined only by facts. They comprise the agent’s Belief Store (BS). QuLog threads execute QuLog action calls. They can update dynamic relations, communicate with other agents, and call functions and relations.

TeleoR is a domain specific language embedded in QuLog. It is a major extension of Nilsson’s Teleo-Reactive (TR) guard → action rule language for robotic agents. The rules are sequenced in parameterised procedures.

Each guard is a QuLog query to the Belief Store. Each action is one or more robotic resource actions to be executed in parallel, or a call to a TeleoR procedure, including a recursive call. The action may be paired with a QuLog action sequence to send messages and update the BS.

The distinctive operational semantics of TeleoR, mostly derived from TR, make it well suited to programming co-operative agent/agent and agent/human applications, with no fixed roles for the participants.

We introduce the use of the two languages, and the multi-threaded agent architecture, with two robot control applications. One is robotic arm control for multiple block tower building tasks. With colleagues at NSW this has been ported to a Baxter robot, see the short video . The other application is communicating and co-operative agent control of each of several track following robots moving through open doorways to a destination room, see the video . In this second application communication is as important as perception.

Biography: Keith Clark has degrees in mathematics and philosophy and a PhD in computational logic. He was a lecturer in computer science in the maths dept at Queen Mary College, London, in from 1969 to 1975. In 1975 he moved to the Dept of Computing and Control at Imperial College as a Senior Lecturer to join Bob Kowalski in setting up the Logic Programming group there.

He is now an Emeritus Professor at Imperial after retiring from the lecturing podium in 2009. He is also an Honorary Professor at UCL , UQ Brisbane and UNSW Sydney.

His early research was primarily in the theory and practice of logic programming. His most cited paper is from this period: ”Negation as Failure” (1978), with over 2700 citations.

In 1981, inspired by Hoare’s CSP , with a student Steve Gregory he introduced the concepts of committed choice non-determinism and stream communicating and-parallelism into logic programming, the computation paradigm later adopted by the 10 year Japanese Fifth Generation Research Project.

Post 1990, his research emphasis has been on the design, implementation and application of rule based programming languages, with a strong declarative component, for multi-agent and cognitive robotic applications. TeleoR and QuLog are the latest of such languages.

He has consulted for the Japanese Fifth Generation Project, Hewlett Packard, IBM , ICL, Fujitsu and two start-ups, one in Sweden and one in California. He has had visiting teaching positions at: Makere University Uganda, Syracuse University, UC Santa Cruz, Uppsala University, Stanford, University of Queensland, and the British University of Egypt.

This talk is part of the Artificial Intelligence and Natural Computation seminars series.

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