November 21, 2017

Talk of Prof. Stefan Schaal

--- Title: Perception, Action, Learning, and Associative Skill Memories

November 21, 2017

Prof. Stefan Schaal
Max-Planck-Institute for Intelligent Systems
Tübingen, Germany


Tuesday 2017-11-21 16:00
IST-Seminar-Room 2.255 - Pfaffenwaldring 9 - Campus Stuttgart-Vaihingen



Autonomous robot systems have to make perceptual and control decisions at every moment of time, and have to learn and adapt to improve the system’s performance. In order to address autonomous skillful movement generation in complex robot and task scenarios, we have been working on a variety of sub problems to facilitate robust task achievement. Among these topics are general representations for movement in form of movement primitives, trajectory-based reinforcement learning with path integral reinforcement learning, and inverse reinforcement learning to extract the “intent” of observed behavior. However, this “action centric” view of skill acquisition needs to be extended with a stronger perceptual component, as in the end the entire perception-action learning loop could be considered the key element to address, rather than isolated components of this loop. In some tentative initial research, we have been exploring Associative Skill Memories, i.e., the simple idea to start memorizing all sensory events and their statistics together with each movement skill. This concepts opens a wide spectrum of adding predictive, corrective, and switching behaviors in motor skills, and may create an interesting foundation to automatically generate the graphs underlying complex sequential motor skills.





Biographical Information

Stefan Schaal is Professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California, and a Founding Director of the Max-Planck-Insitute for Intelligent Systems in Tuebingen, Germany. Dr. Schaal's research interests include topics of statistical and machine learning, neural networks, computational neuroscience, functional brain imaging, nonlinear dynamics, nonlinear control theory, and biomimetic robotics. He applies his research to problems of artificial and biological motor control and motor learning, focusing on both theoretical investigations and experiments with human subjects and anthropomorphic robot equipment. Dr. Schaal is a member of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Society For Neuroscience, the Society for Neural Control of Movement, the AAAS, and a Fellow of the IEEE.





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