The Science of Autonomy: A "Happy" Symbiosis Among Control, Learning and Physics
Theodorou, Evangelos A.
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In this talk I will present an information theoretic approach to stochastic optimal control and inference that has advantages over classical methodologies and theories for decision making under uncertainty. The main idea is that there are certain connections between optimality principles in control and information theoretic inequalities in statistical physics that allow us to solve hard decision making problems in robotics, autonomous systems and beyond. There are essentially two different points of view of the same "thing" and these two different points of view overlap for a fairly general class of dynamical systems that undergo stochastic effects. I will also present a holistic view of autonomy that collapses planning, perception and control into one computational engine, and ask questions such as how organization and structure relates to computation and performance. The last part of my talk includes computational frameworks for uncertainty representation and suggests ways to incorporate these representations within learning and control.