Steven Shladover on Progress Toward Automated Driving

Tuesday February 21 2012, 10.15am, Haldasalen, Halmstad University

Click here for a video recording of the lecture.

The concept of automated driving is not new, even though it is still regarded as futuristic.  Historical examples going back to 1939 are shown to indicate how long the idea has been considered.  The distinction between "automated" and "autonomous" is explained in order to clarify the operational concepts of driving automation, and the advantages of cooperative over autonomous automation are shown.  The distinctions between partial and full automation and between operations in dedicated lanes and in mixed traffic are also explained, in the context of practical considerations of human factors and technical feasibility.  Progress is shown on some of the important steps that have already been taken toward automated driving in PATH's experiments on cooperative adaptive cruise control, automated precision docking of transit buses and automated platooning of heavy trucks.  The most important remaining technical and institutional challenges are then identified.

About Dr. Steven Shladover

Dr. Steven Shladover is the Program Manager, Mobility at the California PATH Program of the Institute of Transportation Studies of the University of California at Berkeley.  He joined the PATH Program in 1989, after eleven years at Systems Control, Inc. and Systems Control Technology, Inc., where he led the company’s efforts in transportation systems engineering and computer-aided control engineering software products.  Dr. Shladover received all of his degrees in mechanical engineering, with a specialization in dynamic systems and control, from M.I.T., where he began conducting research on vehicle automation in 1973.  He has been active in ASME (former Chairman of the Dynamic Systems and Control Division), SAE (ITS Division) and the Transportation Research Board (Chairman of the Committee on Intelligent Transportation Systems from 2004-2010, and member of the Committee on Vehicle-Highway Automation from its founding until 2010), and was the chairman of the Advanced Vehicle Control and Safety Systems Committee of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America from its founding in 1991 until 1997.  Dr. Shladover leads the U.S. delegation to ISO/TC204/WG14, which is developing international standards for “vehicle-roadway warning and control systems”. 

Edward A. Lee on Heterogeneous Actor Models

Friday February 10th 2012, 13:00 (1pm), Wigforssalen, Halmstad University

Click here for a video recording of the lecture.

Complex systems demand diversity in the modeling mechanisms. We see this very clearly with cyber-physical systems (CPS), which combine computing and networking with physical dynamics, and hence require model combinations that integrate dynamics described using differential equations with models of software. We also see it in applications where timed interactions with components are combined with conventional algorithmic computations, such as in networked computer games. We even see it in traditional software systems when we have concurrent interactions between algorithmic components.

One way to deal with a diversity of requirements is to create very flexible modeling frameworks that can be adapted to cover the field of interest. The downside of this approach is a weakening of the semantics of the modeling frameworks that compromises interoperability, understandability, and analyzability of the models. An alternative approach is to embrace heterogeneity and to provide mechanisms for a diversity of models to interact.

In this talk, I will describe an approach that achieves such interaction between diverse models using a concept that we call "abstract semantics.” An abstract semantics is a deliberately incomplete semantics that cannot by itself define a useful modeling framework. It instead focuses on the interactions between diverse models, reducing the nature of those interactions to a minimum that achieves a well-defined composition. I will illustrate how such an abstract semantics can handle many heterogeneous models that are built today (such as Statecharts, which combine state machines with synchronous concurrent models, hybrid systems, which combine state machines with differential equations, process networks, which combine imperative programs with message passing concurrency, etc.). I will also show how it handles combinations that are not readily available in modeling tools today. I will illustrate these combinations with examples prototyped in Ptolemy II.

About Professor Edward A. Lee

Edward A. Lee is the Robert S. Pepper Distinguished Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) department at U.C. Berkeley. His research interests center on design, modeling, and analysis of embedded, real-time computational systems. He is a director of Chess, the Berkeley Center for Hybrid and Embedded Software Systems, and is the director of the Berkeley Ptolemy project. From 2005-2008, he served as chair of the EE Division and then chair of the EECS Department at UC Berkeley. He is co-author of nine books (counting second and third editions) and numerous papers. He has led the development of several influential open-source software packages, notably Ptolemy and its various spinoffs. He received the B.S. degree in Computer Science from Yale University, New Haven, CT, in 1979, the S.M. degree in EECS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, in 1981, and the Ph.D. degree in EECS from the University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, in 1986. From 1979 to 1982 he was a member of technical staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, in the Advanced Data Communications Laboratory. He is a co-founder of BDTI, Inc., where he is currently a Senior Technical Advisor, and has consulted for a number of other companies. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, was an NSF Presidential Young Investigator, and won the 1997 Frederick Emmons Terman Award for Engineering Education.