Seminar: State-Dependent Action Optimization Schemes

Hosted by the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Co-sponsored by the Control & Aerospace Electronic Systems (CAES) Chapter and Signal Processing (C&SP) Chapter of IEEE South Australia Section

Seminar Title: State-Dependent Action Optimization Schemes

Speaker: Professor Edwin K. P. Chong

Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dept. of Mathematics, Colorado State University

Date and Time: 11.00am -12.00pm, Tuesday 19th December

Venue: Horace Lamb lecture theatre


We describe research issues surrounding the study of a general class of control strategies called state-dependent action optimization (SDAO). We outline theoretical and applied research issue related to SDAO. On the theoretical side, we introduce a framework based on optimal control and show that, under quite general conditions, there exists an optimal solution (policy or controller) that is also an SDAO scheme. This result, not usually stated this way and more commonly known as Bellman’s principle, makes SDAO schemes of interest in a wide range of applications and is the basis for self-driving vehicles and AlphaGo, the master-beating Go playing machine. We then show how to use results from submodular optimization to bound the performance of SDAO schemes relative to the optimal. We describe several application examples in which such schemes have been applied, and also outline some ongoing applications.


Edwin K. P. Chong received the B.E. degree with First Class Honors from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, in 1987; and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in 1989 and 1991, respectively, both from Princeton University, where he held an IBM Fellowship. He joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University in 1991. Since August 2001, he has been a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Professor of Mathematics at Colorado State University.  He coauthored the best-selling book, An Introduction to Optimization (4th Edition, Wiley-Interscience, 2013). He received the NSF CAREER Award in 1995 and the ASEE Frederick Emmons Terman Award in 1998. He was a co-recipient of the 2004 Best Paper Award for a paper in the journal Computer Networks. In 2010, he received the IEEE Control Systems Society Distinguished Member Award.


Prof. Chong is a Fellow of IEEE. He was the founding chairman of the IEEE Control Systems Society Technical Committee on Discrete Event Systems, and served as an IEEE Control Systems Society Distinguished Lecturer. He was a Senior Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control until 2016. He was the General Chair for the 2011 Joint 50th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control and European Control Conference. He currently serves as President of the IEEE Control Systems Society (2017).


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