Vinod Wins Best Paper Award

April 30, 2017

Abraham VinodECE student Abraham Vinod won the Best Student Paper Award, sponsored by DENSO, at the 20th ACM International Conference on Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control, held April 18-20 in Pittsburgh, PA. He was awarded a plaque and a cash prize.

"This is the most prestigious and competitive conference in the field of hybrid systems," said Vinod's advisor, Dr. Meeko Oishi. "I'm extremely proud of Abraham's accomplishment. The theory and algorithms he has developed are breakthroughs for stochastic reachability analysis."

The Best Student Paper Award, chosen by the conference's Awards committee, reflects the importance and innovation in Abraham's contribution to stochastic reachability analysis. Abraham's algorithms provide efficient solutions, exact in some cases, to the problem of prediction of stochastic, dynamical systems.

The Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control (HSCC) conference serves as the focal point for researchers from control and formal methods communities, and is part of Cyber-Physical Systems Week, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary this year.

Vinod's paper, "Forward Stochastic Reachability Analysis for Uncontrolled Linear Systems using Fourier Transforms" was co-authored with Dr. Baisravan HomChaudhuri and Dr. Oishi and is now available on the ACM Digital Library.

"We utilized Fourier transforms to provide a non-iterative algorithm to predict where a stochastic system can evolve to and its associated likelihood," said Vinod. "This method can provide an exact solution under certain circumstances, enabling near real-time solutions of stochastic reachable sets for the first time."

Such methods have applicability to a wide range of practical problems in autonomous systems. Oishi said, "We are excited to start implementing Abraham's algorithms experimentally."

Oishi's lab collaborates with Prof. Lydia Tapia and her students to construct dynamically aware motion planning algorithms for uncertain environments, with Dr. Scott Erwin at the Air Force Research Lab to develop reliable spacecraft autonomy for rendezvous and docking, and with Prof. Rafael Fierro and researchers at Sandia National Laboratories to coordinate UAV capture of airborne threats.

"This award is the result of the excellent supervision I get from Dr. Oishi and the fruitful collaboration I have with Dr. HomChaudhuri," continued Vinod. Dr. Baisravan HomChaudhuri is a Postdoctoral Associate in Oishi's lab, who will start as an Assistant Professor at Illinois Institute of Technology this fall.

Vinod will pursue an internship at Nissan Research and Development in Sunnyvale, CA this summer, and plans to give his PhD comprehensive exam at the end of Fall 2017.