Seminario | Human Performance and Decision-making Under Pressure

Giovedì 8 febbraio alle ore 11:00 presso l'Aula Magna, dell'Edificio di Fisiologia e Chimica Organica, Via Marzolo 3, Padova, si terrà il seminario "Human Performance and Decision-making Under Pressure" della Dott.ssa Silvia Ferrari (John Brancaccio Professor and Associate Dean for Cross-campus Engineering Research, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University) organizzato dal Prof. Gerardo Bosco.

Unmanned ground, aerial, and underwater vehicles or robots equipped with on-board wireless sensors are becoming crucial to both civilian and military applications because of their ability to replace or assist humans in carrying out dangerous yet vital missions. In many cases, these robots are deployed for the primary purpose of gathering information from unstructured and uncertain environments and, therefore, must decide future actions intelligently based on the sensor measurements and environmental information. Recent work on information-driven sensor path planning has shown that the performance of these sensors can be significantly improved by planning their paths based on probabilistic sensor models, and on the geometric characteristics of the workspace and of the sensor field-of-view or visibility region. This talk discusses recent collaborative studies on satisficing decision making in human and primate subjects aimed at uncovering how these decisions can be made under pressure. High-fidelity simulations and virtual reality (VR) environments are used to present the same treasure hunt problems to human and non-human subjects, as well as robots. The goal is to develop a general framework by which feature selection and heuristics can be combined with traditional information-driven methods for path planning and control laws in active sensing and information gathering. Studies show that an adaptive approach, known as adaptive evidence accumulation, by which only the most informative cues are used to make decisions under pressure can be applied to autonomous sensors. As a result, future sensors will be able to conduct challenging missions under external pressures, such as sensory deprivation, time constraints, energy limitations, and insufficient data.

Silvia Ferrari is John Brancaccio Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University and Associate Dean for Cross-campus Engineering Research at the Cornell Tech. She was previously Professor of Engineering and Computer Science at Duke University, and Founder and Director of the NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) and Fellowship program on Wireless Intelligent Sensor Networks (WISeNet). Currently, she is the Director of the Laboratory for Intelligent Systems and Controls (LISC) at Cornell University and the co-Director of the Věho Institute for Vehicle Intelligence at the Cornell Tech. Her principal research interests include active perception, robust adaptive control, learning and approximate dynamic programming, and control of multiscale dynamical systems. She is the author of the book “Information-driven Path Planning and Control,” MIT Press (2021), and of the TED talk “Do robots dreams of electric sheep?”. She received the B.S. degree from Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University. She is a senior member of the IEEE, and a member of ASME, SPIE, and AIAA. She is the recipient of the ONR young investigator award (2004), the NSF CAREER award (2005), and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) award (2006).