[robotics-worldwide] RSS 2008 Workshop: Topology and Minimalism in Robotics and Sensor Networks

George Pappas pappasg at ee.upenn.edu
Wed May 14 15:40:41 PDT 2008

Topology and Minimalism in Robotics and Sensor Networks
Robotics: Science and Systems Workshop
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Robert Ghrist, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Steve LaValle, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
George J. Pappas, University of Pennsylvania 

Can we do more with less? Although obtaining reams of sensor data is cheaper
than ever, unstructured environments are extremely complicated and
unpredictable. Rather than trying to learn and utilize precise and complete
models, this workshop explores the theme of achieving well-specified robotic
and sensor network tasks with as little information as possible. The push
toward minimalism offers greater robustness and simplicity, but also
requires the development of powerful new mathematical techniques and
algorithms. Basic tools from algebraic topology and other areas not
typically associated with robotics come to the rescue. Problems approached
from the miminalist perspective in this workshop include guaranteeing sensor
network coverage, counting targets, time synchronization, target tracking,
robot navigation, and topological map building. 

The purpose of this full day workshop is to provide a forum for
state-of-the-art research on the formulation and solution of robotic and
sensor network tasks using minimal information. In particular, the
objectives of the workshop are:

	To present state-of-the-art results in the area of minimal planning
and sensing, especially for very common 	tasks for robotic and sensor
	Bring together some of the leading researchers in the field in order
to promote cross fertilization of 	ideas, results, tools, and ideas in
order to stimulate further progress in the area. 

	Attract new researchers in the field by providing tutorials exposing
them to modern topological methods and 	distributed algorithms. 

The workshop will conclude with a panel discussion on how existing methods
and concepts may be applied to a broader range of problems of current

All speakers and presentations are confirmed. Presentations will be posted
on the workshop website and be available to everyone after the workshop. 

08:45-09:00 Welcome and Overview 
09:00-10:00 Tutorial on Rips and Cech Complexes, Robert Ghrist, University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
10:00-10:30 Decentralized hole detection in sensor networks without
localization, Ali Jadbabaie, University of Pennsylvania 
10:30-11:00 Target enumeration unsing Euler characteristic, Yuliy
Baryshnikov, Bell Labs 
11:00-11:15 BREAK 
11:15-11:45 Simple robots with minimal sensing: from local visibility to
global geometry, Partol Widmayer, ETH Zurich 
11:45-12:30 DISCUSSION: Open problems, modeling issues, engineering impact 
12:30-14:00 LUNCH 
14:00-15:00 Tutorial on information spaces and minimalism, Steve LaValle,
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign 
15:00-15:30 Localization with minimal sensing, Jason O' Kane, University of
South Carolina 
15:30-16:00 Path reconstruction with beams and obstacles, Fred Cohen,
University of Rochester 
16:00-16:15 BREAK 
16:15-16:45 DISCUSSION: Open problems, modeling issues, engineering impact 
16:45-17:15 Boundary partol using robotic networks without localization,
Francesco Bullo, University of California at Santa Barbara 
17:15-17:45 Topological complexity of consensus, George J. Pappas,
University of Pennsylvania 
17:45-18:15 DISCUSSION: Final discussions 

You can register for the workshop through the main conference registration
site at

More information about the work can be found at the workshop website at:

George J. Pappas
Joseph Moore Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering
Deputy Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Pennsylvania

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