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ASSET Seminar: Automated Decision Making for Safety Critical Applications, Mykel Kochenderfer (Stanford University)

March 22, 2023 at 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


Building robust decision making systems for autonomous systems is challenging. Decisions must be made based on imperfect information about the environment and with uncertainty about how the environment will evolve. In addition, these systems must carefully balance safety with other considerations, such as operational efficiency. Typically, the space of edge cases is vast, placing a large burden on human designers to anticipate problem scenarios and develop ways to resolve them. This talk discusses major challenges associated with ensuring computational tractability and establishing trust that our systems will behave correctly when deployed in the real world. We will outline some methodologies for addressing these challenges and point to some research applications that can serve as inspiration for building safer systems.

Mykel Kochenderfer

Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Computer Science, Stanford University


Mykel Kochenderfer is an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He is the director of the Stanford Intelligent Systems Laboratory (SISL), conducting research on advanced algorithms and analytical methods for the design of robust decision making systems. Of particular interest are systems for air traffic control, unmanned aircraft, and automated driving where decisions must be made in uncertain, dynamic environments while maintaining safety and efficiency. Research at SISL focuses on efficient computational methods for deriving optimal decision strategies from high-dimensional, probabilistic problem representations. Prior to joining the faculty in 2013, he was at MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he worked on aircraft collision avoidance, leading to the creation of the ACAS X international standard for manned and unmanned aircraft. Prof. Kochenderfer is a co-director of the Center for AI Safety. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research and the Journal of Aerospace Information Systems. He is an author of the textbooks Decision Making under Uncertainty: Theory and Application (MIT Press, 2015), Algorithms for Optimization (MIT Press, 2019), and Algorithms for Decision Making (MIT Press, 2022).


March 22, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
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Computer and Information Science
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