Collaborating Authors

A Survey of Behavior Trees in Robotics and AI Artificial Intelligence

Behavior Trees (BTs) were invented as a tool to enable modular AI in computer games, but have received an increasing amount of attention in the robotics community in the last decade. With rising demands on agent AI complexity, game programmers found that the Finite State Machines (FSM) that they used scaled poorly and were difficult to extend, adapt and reuse. In BTs, the state transition logic is not dispersed across the individual states, but organized in a hierarchical tree structure, with the states as leaves. This has a significant effect on modularity, which in turn simplifies both synthesis and analysis by humans and algorithms alike. These advantages are needed not only in game AI design, but also in robotics, as is evident from the research being done. In this paper we present a comprehensive survey of the topic of BTs in Artificial Intelligence and Robotic applications. The existing literature is described and categorized based on methods, application areas and contributions, and the paper is concluded with a list of open research challenges.

NeBula: Quest for Robotic Autonomy in Challenging Environments; TEAM CoSTAR at the DARPA Subterranean Challenge Artificial Intelligence

This paper presents and discusses algorithms, hardware, and software architecture developed by the TEAM CoSTAR (Collaborative SubTerranean Autonomous Robots), competing in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge. Specifically, it presents the techniques utilized within the Tunnel (2019) and Urban (2020) competitions, where CoSTAR achieved 2nd and 1st place, respectively. We also discuss CoSTAR's demonstrations in Martian-analog surface and subsurface (lava tubes) exploration. The paper introduces our autonomy solution, referred to as NeBula (Networked Belief-aware Perceptual Autonomy). NeBula is an uncertainty-aware framework that aims at enabling resilient and modular autonomy solutions by performing reasoning and decision making in the belief space (space of probability distributions over the robot and world states). We discuss various components of the NeBula framework, including: (i) geometric and semantic environment mapping; (ii) a multi-modal positioning system; (iii) traversability analysis and local planning; (iv) global motion planning and exploration behavior; (i) risk-aware mission planning; (vi) networking and decentralized reasoning; and (vii) learning-enabled adaptation. We discuss the performance of NeBula on several robot types (e.g. wheeled, legged, flying), in various environments. We discuss the specific results and lessons learned from fielding this solution in the challenging courses of the DARPA Subterranean Challenge competition.

Pervasive AI for IoT Applications: Resource-efficient Distributed Artificial Intelligence Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has witnessed a substantial breakthrough in a variety of Internet of Things (IoT) applications and services, spanning from recommendation systems to robotics control and military surveillance. This is driven by the easier access to sensory data and the enormous scale of pervasive/ubiquitous devices that generate zettabytes (ZB) of real-time data streams. Designing accurate models using such data streams, to predict future insights and revolutionize the decision-taking process, inaugurates pervasive systems as a worthy paradigm for a better quality-of-life. The confluence of pervasive computing and artificial intelligence, Pervasive AI, expanded the role of ubiquitous IoT systems from mainly data collection to executing distributed computations with a promising alternative to centralized learning, presenting various challenges. In this context, a wise cooperation and resource scheduling should be envisaged among IoT devices (e.g., smartphones, smart vehicles) and infrastructure (e.g. edge nodes, and base stations) to avoid communication and computation overheads and ensure maximum performance. In this paper, we conduct a comprehensive survey of the recent techniques developed to overcome these resource challenges in pervasive AI systems. Specifically, we first present an overview of the pervasive computing, its architecture, and its intersection with artificial intelligence. We then review the background, applications and performance metrics of AI, particularly Deep Learning (DL) and online learning, running in a ubiquitous system. Next, we provide a deep literature review of communication-efficient techniques, from both algorithmic and system perspectives, of distributed inference, training and online learning tasks across the combination of IoT devices, edge devices and cloud servers. Finally, we discuss our future vision and research challenges.

Artificial intelligence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence exhibited by machines. In computer science, an ideal "intelligent" machine is a flexible rational agent that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal.[1] Colloquially, the term "artificial intelligence" is applied when a machine mimics "cognitive" functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as "learning" and "problem solving".[2] As machines become increasingly capable, facilities once thought to require intelligence are removed from the definition. For example, optical character recognition is no longer perceived as an exemplar of "artificial intelligence" having become a routine technology.[3] Capabilities still classified as AI include advanced Chess and Go systems and self-driving cars. AI research is divided into subfields[4] that focus on specific problems or on specific approaches or on the use of a particular tool or towards satisfying particular applications. The central problems (or goals) of AI research include reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, natural language processing (communication), perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects.[5] General intelligence is among the field's long-term goals.[6] Approaches include statistical methods, computational intelligence, soft computing (e.g. machine learning), and traditional symbolic AI. Many tools are used in AI, including versions of search and mathematical optimization, logic, methods based on probability and economics. The AI field draws upon computer science, mathematics, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, neuroscience and artificial psychology. The field was founded on the claim that human intelligence "can be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it."[7] This raises philosophical arguments about the nature of the mind and the ethics of creating artificial beings endowed with human-like intelligence, issues which have been explored by myth, fiction and philosophy since antiquity.[8] Attempts to create artificial intelligence has experienced many setbacks, including the ALPAC report of 1966, the abandonment of perceptrons in 1970, the Lighthill Report of 1973 and the collapse of the Lisp machine market in 1987. In the twenty-first century AI techniques became an essential part of the technology industry, helping to solve many challenging problems in computer science.[9]