[robotics-worldwide] PostDoc position: LAAS/CNRS, France, Advanced Temporal Models for Autonomous Robots

Felix Ingrand felix at ingrand.net
Wed Jun 14 03:00:53 PDT 2006

LAAS/CNRS is opening a PostDoc position on the following subject.

Advanced Temporal Models for Autonomous Robots

Currently, most autonomous systems, such as autonomous exploration  
rovers, integrate complex sensing and acting functionalities,  
controlled by complex deliberation mechanism (e.g. planning and  
execution control). Nevertheless, this integration currently follows  
simple rules of thumb which do not rely on any clear V&V approach.   
At the functional level, a worst case empirical analysis is made and  
the developer tunes delays, priorities and cycles duration based on  
this analysis and the host machine. At the decisional level, some  
more formal methods are used (e.g. Logical or Constraint programming)  
and offer some temporal representation and reasoning (during  
deliberation but also execution).

Moreover, the autonomy requirement of these systems keeps rising, and  
they need a more flexible approach to handle the resources used (in  
particular the CPU). Thus it seems rather interesting to have a finer  
execution control model of the various functional components, based  
on their temporal interactions and relationships. Such a model could  
then be used to guarantee that some temporal constraints remain  
valid, but also to better control the execution of the various  
modules while keeping the model valid. Similarly, at the decisional  
level, the study of timed automata approaches could cast a new light  
on the planning and execution control problem.

The candidate will  focus his research on the following areas:

- Study of existing autonomous systems
- Timed automata as an unified model
- Controller synthesis and  scheduling
- Runtime verification and monitoring

The goal of the project is to improve the V&V aspect of current  
autonomous systems, in particular with respect to time.

This study is conducted in the framework of an ANR project (AMAES,  
Advanced Methods for Autonomous Embedded Systems) which is jointly  
conducted by VERIMAG, LAAS and LIAFA. Part of the study will be  
implemented,  tested and demonstrated on a software  testbed.

Requirements: There is no specific requirement, except having a PhD   
in a related field (AI, robotics, V&V, timed systems, etc). The  
applicant should have some programming skills.

Starting date: September/October 2006

Duration: two year

Applicants should send:
- a resume/bio
- pointers to their most important publications and/or their PhD   
(only french or english documents)
- recommendation letter(s)

Contact person:
Felix Ingrand (felix at laas.fr)

The work will be done in collaboration with VERIMAG and LIAFA, and  
the candidate will visit these two laboratories during the two years.

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