Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hybrid Modeling Languages (HyML) @ Rice (May 7-8, 2015)

Rice University will host the second Hybrid Modeling Languages (HyML) Meeting, organized by the Professors Taha and Cartwright. The topics covered by the meeting include modeling of cyber-physical systems, validated numerics, and formal semantics. The meeting provides a forum for presenting work representing the state of the art in these topics, and is intended to facilitate continued and new collaborations on research and education across these areas.

Meeting Program

Thursday May 7th, 2015

  8:00 - Breakfast
  8:30 - The Acumen Project
             Walid Taha, Halmstad University and Rice University
  9:30 - Modeling Aspects of Robot Arms and Automated Vehicles
             Roland Philippsen, Google, Inc
10:45 - Break
10:15 - Simulation-guided Formal Analysis
             Jyotirmoy Deshmukh, Toyota
11:30 - Formal Synthesis of Computational Kernels
             Franz Franchetti, Carnegie Mellon University
12:15 - Lunch
  1:30 - Coinduction in Logic Programming: 
             Proof Theoretic Foundations of Normal Logic Programs
             Gopal Gupta, University of Texas at Dallas
  2:30 - Declarative Probabilistic Programming
             Molham Aref, LogicBlox
  3:30 - Break
  4:00 - Response Time Analysis of Functional Reactive Systems
             Albert Cheng, University of Houston
  5:00 - Panel: HyMLs in Education
  7:00 - Dinner

Friday May 8th, 2015

  8:00 - Breakfast
  8:30 - First Steps toward Formal Controller Synthesis for Bipedal Robots
             Aaron Ames, Texas A&M
  9:30 - Computable Analysis as a Framework for Studying Continuous Systems
             Walid Gomaa, Egypt Japan University of Science and Technology
10:15 - Break
10:45 - A Hyperdense Semantic Domain for Hybrid Dynamic Systems.
             Gabor Simko, Google, Inc
11:30 - Computer-aided Proofs
             Ferenc Bartha, Rice University
12:15 - Lunch
  1:30 - Partial Continuous Maps
             Eugenio Moggi, University of Genova
  2:30 - From Intervals Through Function Intervals 
             to a General Description of Imprecise Probabilities
             Vlad Kreinovich, University of Texas at El-Paso
  3:30 - Break
  4:00 - Numeric-Symbolic Reachability Analysis of Hybrid Systems
             Sriram Sankaranarayanan, University of Colorado
  5:00 - Panel: A Roadmap for HyML Research
  7:00 - Dinner

The meeting consists of invited talks and discussion sessions.  It will take place in room 1070 of Duncan Hall.  A schedule for the meeting is forthcoming.  For more information, please contact Walid Taha.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hybrid Modeling Languages (HyML) @ Rice (May 7-8, 2015)

Rice University will host the second Hybrid Modeling Languages (HyML) Meeting, organized by the Professors Taha and Cartwright. The topics covered by the meeting include modeling of cyber-physical systems, validated numerics, and formal semantics. The meeting provides a forum for presenting work representing the state of the art in these topics, and is intended to facilitate continued and new collaborations on research and education across these areas.  Speakers at the meeting include:
The meeting consists of invited talks and discussion sessions.  It will take place in room 1070 of Duncan Hall.  A schedule for the meeting is forthcoming.  For more information, please contact Walid Taha.

Friday, December 19, 2014

New Acumen Release (2014/12/1)

A new release of Acumen (2014/12/1) is now available.  This release features several enhancements, including switching to software rendering of 3D graphics, which makes the distributed executable fully functional on any computer that has Java installed. The latest semantics has more strict error checking, catching more inconsistencies your specification. Experimental support for matrix operations has also been included.

The following video showcases an example that comes with this distribution:



An updated user reference guide is available through the Help menu.  The examples have also been reorganized for easier access.  Essentially the same distribution was used successfully in the most recent edition of the Cyber-Physical Systems course taught at Halmstad University.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Finding Zeno

Remember the story about Zeno's paradox, with Achilles and the tortoise?  Well, now we know how to do a computer simulation of that story :-)

Last week our first paper on enclosures and hybrid systems (entitled, "Enclosing the Behavior of a Hybrid System up to and Beyond a Zeno Point") was accepted for publication at the First IEEE Conference of Cyber-Physical Systems, Networks, and Applications (CPSNA 2013).

The figure on the right, taken from the paper, illustrates the basic idea of the new method on another example of Zeno behavior, namely, a bouncing ball.  The approach presented in the paper is to compute an "enclosure" (illustrated in grey in the diagram).  Using enclosures makes it possible simulate the system past the Zeno point without going into an infinite loop.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Two Special Guests Visit the NAO Halmstad Group

Two guests who are getting ready to graduate from Kindergarten visited Halmstad University last Friday to meet Jonson and Mörner, two members of the NAO Halmstad Group.  The visit was hosted by Jonas Jonson (no relation), Alexey Taktarov, Yingfu Zeng, Jawad Masood, and Walid Taha.  (See more pictures from visit)

The special guests became interested in meeting the robots after seeing a segment on TV4 about the NAO Halmstad Group.  The visit included showing off some of the capabilities that the NAOs come pre-programmed with (including dancing, Tai Chi, walking, speech synthesis, and speech recognition) and an interactive discussion of how the robots can be programmed by a sequence of basic primitives such as walking, turning, moving hands, closing the grip, and so on.  This was followed by a discussion of what these robots are made of, including cameras, motors, and (as one of our young guests pointed out) microphones.  They were also showed a recording of a recent walk by Jonson using code that was developed by our colleagues at the AMBER lab at Texas A&M.

The guests appeared content with the demonstrations.  Depending on the level of their future interest in this subject, we may have had seven or eight generations of engineers at this meeting.  We will keep our fingers crossed for the next twelve years :-)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

NAO Halmstad Group's First Experiment

Jawad, Yingfu, and Ayonga (Texas A&M) worked hard this weekend to carry out a series of experiments based on new control code developed by the AMBER lab at Texas A&M.  The new code, which aims to produce stable human-like walking, was tested on several surfaces both indoors and outdoors.  The following video shows a walk on the asphalt between the F and R buildings:



The NAO Halmstad Group consists of five same-batch NAO robots, and is intended to be used as a common platform for experimentation among four universities, including Rice University, Halmstad University, Texas A&M, and Al-Faisal University. This experiment constitutes the first use of the platform for this purpose.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Invited talk at EOOLT 2013

Walid gave the invited talk at the Fifth International Workshop on Equation-based Object Oriented Languages (EOOLT 2013), describing recent work on Enclosing Hybrid Behaviors.  The work is joint work with Michal Konecny, Jan Duracz, Adam Duracz, and Aaron Ames.  The website makes available online the papers, slides, and pictures from the meeting.  The picture shown to the left is taken from the website.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

TV4 Halland Insert about the Halmstad Group

TV Halland made an piece about the Halmstad Group, which consists of five NAO humanoid robots shared by Rice University, Texas A&M University, Al-Faisal University, and Halmstad University.

  Humanoiden%20Nao%20p%C3%A5%20bes%C3%B6k%20i%20Halmstad

 The piece was aired April 17th, 2013.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Paper: "A First Course on Cyber Physical Systems"

by Walid Taha, Robert Cartwright, Roland Philippsen, and Yingfu Zeng

will be presented at the first Workshop on CPS Education (CPS-Ed) at CPSWeek 2013 on April 8th, 2013 in Philadelphia.

Abstract: Effective and creative CPS development requires expertise in disparate fields that have traditionally been taught in distinct disciplines. At the same time, students seeking a CPS education generally come from diverse educational backgrounds. In this paper we report on our recent experience developing and teaching a course on CPS. The course can be seen as a detailed proposal focused on three three key questions: What are the core elements of CPS? How can these core concepts be integrated in the CPS design process? What types of modeling tools can assist in the design of cyber-physical systems? Experience from the first two offerings of the course is promising, and we discuss the lessons learned. All materials including lecture notes and software used for the course are openly available online.

A preprint of the paper can be found here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

PhD and Research Programmer Openings at Rice and Texas A&M

New announcements have just been posted for four PhD positions and one research programer positions funded by a new NSF project lead by Professor Taha.  The positions are hosted by Rice and Texas A&M Universities, but participants will spend significant periods of time at Halmstad University.  Please forward these announcements to strong candidates.  Note that the two deadlines are as early as January 6th.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Accelerating Robotic Innovation

Rice University made a press release regarding the newly awarded NSF CPS project to support our research on accelerating robotic innovation.  Articles about this news also appear on the Halmstad University website, and in reports by R&D MagazineUltimate West U, and PhysOrg.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

John McCarthy

It was sad learn about the passing of John McCarthy this week.  I got into research when I became fascinated by the LISP language while taking a class on programming languages at Kuwait University.  The festschrift honoring McCarthy contained several papers and personal stories about him that piqued my interest in LISP and my respect for him.

A terrible loss for computing.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Invited talks at DSLRob and WS4C

Acumen was the the subject of the invited talk at both DSLRobt and WS4C workshops. DSLRob focused on domain specific languages for robotics applications, whereas WS4C focused more broadly on cyber-physical systems.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Halmstad University Article

The official English version of the article about our research has been posted recently on Halmstad University's website. The article describes several examples of cyberphysical systems, and highlights the importance of this new research area.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Feature article at Halmstad University

An article about our research was featured on the front page of the website for Halmstad University. The article focused on intelligent cooperative systems, which are an important class of systems where we can expect to see significant innovation in the future.