SCS Faculty Candidate

  • Gates Hillman Centers
  • ASA Conference Room 6115
  • PETTER NILSSON
  • Postdoctoral Scholar
  • California Institute of Technology
Talks

Leveraging Structure in Specification-Driven Control Synthesis

As engineered systems become increasingly complex and safety-critical, control design becomes more challenging. Computer aided controller synthesis from formal specifications has the potential to enable sophisticated behaviors, while simultaneously providing safety guarantees. However, the problem of synthesizing a controller that enforces a specification is computationally challenging due to scalability. In this talk I will present different ways to leverage problem structure to circumvent the scalability barrier. First, I will show how an invariance problem can be decomposed by imposing contracts between system components, and how the method can be applied to an autonomous driving system. Secondly, I will illustrate that for a particular class of highly symmetrical problems, the structure can be exploited to enable trajectory synthesis for very large multi-agent systems. Finally, I will talk about synthesis in probabilistic systems, and about how the structure of interconnected systems can be leveraged to enable specification-guided exploration in a multi-asset Mars mission.

Petter Nilsson received his B.S. in Engineering Physics in 2011, and his M.S. in Optimization and Systems Theory in 2013, both from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2017 from the University of Michigan. In addition to his technical degrees, he holds a B.S. in Business and Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics. He is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology where he conducts research on specification-driven control and autonomy for safety-critical cyber-physical systems, with applications in autonomous driving, space exploration, and in multi-agent coordination.

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