P.S. Krishnaprasad: Games, Flocks, and Cognition

/ January 10, 2022/

January 20, 2022 @ 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm

Abstract: Distributed systems operate under specifications or constraints to fulfill a purpose. Such constraints, may be viewed as strategies in a game. With changes in operational circumstances (or context) the strategies must evolve, and the language of replicator dynamics is effective in reasoning about strategy evolution. Assessment of costs and benefits associated to context, and predictions of future contexts that a system might encounter, would suggest how the game itself might change. This has led to the development of a control theory of replicator dynamics occupying the top layer of a cognitive hierarchy, initiated in joint work with Vidya Raju. Here we show how optimal control theory guides us in formulating a notion of cognitive cost (of predation avoidance) in a natural collective, initiated in joint work with Udit Halder and Vidya Raju. We apply these ideas to data on flocking behavior of starlings, using geometric and computational techniques originating in joint work with Matteo Mischiati and Biswadip Dey.

Bio: P. S. Krishnaprasad received the Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in 1977. He taught in the Systems Engineering Department at Case Western Reserve University from 1977 to 1980. Since August 1980, he has been with the University of Maryland, currently a Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, with a joint appointment at the Institute for Systems Research. His interests lie in the areas of geometric mechanics and control theory, filtering and signal processing, robotics, acoustics, and biologically-inspired approaches to control, sensing and computation. His current work includes the study of natural and artificial collectives, control in statistical physics, and the efficiency of engines that perform useful work in cycles. He is a Fellow of the IEEE. He delivered the Munich Mathematical Colloquium Lecture in fall 2006, the Hendrik W. Bode Lecture of the IEEE Control Systems Society in 2007, and the Baetjer Colloquium Lecture at Princeton University in 2012.

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