Past projects

Triangle of Life: A Real-World Evolution of Robot Morphologies: Evolutionary robotics using real hardware has been almost exclusively restricted to evolving robot controllers, but the technology for evolvable morphologies is advancing quickly. We are working towards developing a system in real-time on real hardware. The goal is to demonstrate that real robots can evolve in such a way, and study processes of the robotic (eco)system. Following a general system plan, we implement a robotic habitat that contains all system components in the simplest possible form. We created an initial population of two robots and ran a complete life cycle, resulting in a new robot, parented by the first two. Even though the individual steps are simplified to the maximum, the whole system validates the underlying concepts and provides a generic workflow for the creation of more complex incarnations. This hands-on experience provides insights and helps us elaborate on interesting research directions for future development. [Old Page]

DREAM project: DREAM is a robotic project that incorporates sleep and dream-like processes within cognitive architecture. This enables an individual robot or groups of robots to consolidate their experience into more useful and generic formats, thus improving their future ability to learn and adapt. DREAM relies on Evolutionary Neurodynamic ensemble methods as a unifying principle for discovery, optimization, re-structuring, and consolidation of knowledge. This new paradigm will make the robot more autonomous in its acquisition, organization and use of knowledge and skills just as long as they comply with the satisfaction of pre-established basic motivations. [Old Page]

E-COMPARED (FP7 Health project) The project concerns the comparison of the effectiveness of therapies for depression and is a close collaboration between researchers from the domain of psychology (among which the psychologists of the Department of Clinical Psychology of the VU University Amsterdam) and computer science. The main focus within the project for us is the generation of predictive models for patients to enable more effective policy making. The project uses an automated mobile therapy developed in the EU FP7 funded ICT project ICT4Depression, a project I jointly coordinated with Michel Klein.

AWARE: Awareness is a Coordination Action (CA), supporting research under the FP7: FET Proactive Initiative: Self-Awareness in Autonomic Systems (Awareness). The CA is a 3 year project: 2010 – 2013. Awareness provide a supportive environment for research into self-awareness in autonomic systems, helping to create a well-connected community of researchers and conveying a coherent prospect to a wider scientific and technological audience. The CI group is the leader of the training activities within this project.

OPTI-FOX: OPTImization of the automated Fitting to Outcomes eXpert with language-independent hearing-in-noise test battery and electro-acoustical test box for cochlear implant users (FP7 EU project). The main objective of the project concerns the improvement of fitting of cochlear implants by means of advanced techniques for the domain of computational intelligence. The role of the CI group concerns the application of data mining techniques for this purpose.

SYMBRION: Symbiotic Robotic Organisms (FP7 EU project). The main focus of these projects is to investigate and develop novel principles of adaptation and evolution for symbiotic multi-robot organisms based on bio-inspired approaches and modern computing paradigms. Such robot organisms consist of super-large-scale swarms of robots, which can dock with each other and symbiotically share energy and computational resources within a single artificial-life-form. When it is advantageous to do so, these swarm robots can dynamically aggregate into one or many symbiotic organisms and collectively interact with the physical world via a variety of sensors and actuators. The role of the CI group in this project is to work on evolutionary methods for this purpose.

ADISS: Adaptive Distributed Intelligent Sensor Systems, together with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). A trend in sensor systems for surveillance is to go from large single platform static systems to smaller, possibly mobile, systems with more adaptable complementary sensors. Promising is the research being done on fusing measurements from sophisticated dissimilar and distributed sensors while tracking. In the cognitive system model that we use, the hierarchical agents building the most suitable awareness as well as the hierarchically organized sensor management agents work together to adapt the system such that the most utile information is provided at the right time. The particular topic of research is then how these distributed heterogeneous en hierarchically organized agents work together to achieve this.

OANEC: Operational Analysis support to Networked Enabled Capabilities (OANEC) together with the NLDA Den Helder. ‘Information dominance and superiority’, ‘network centric warfare’ and ‘agility and adaptivity’ are terms that have become part of the lexicon associated with the transformation of the military force. The concept of Network Enabled Capabilities (NEC) involves the use of complex, networked systems, consisting of many components that are heterogeneous in functionality and capability with both nonlocal and non-linear interactions and effects. The goal of the research is to investigate the interaction between various network topologies on the one hand and type of agents on the other hand with respect to completing some mission. We like to develop measures of effectiveness or fitness that can be used to evaluate the various configurations.

EVOBODY: Embodied Evolution (FP7 FET project). The main aim of EVOBODY was to facilitate the identification and formulation of novel research topics in the field of unbound evolutionary processes, embodied in different real systems, 2010-2011. Website.

VUBIS: Part of the Network Institute of the VU Amsterdam. (2004-2008)

DIANA: Data Interception and Analysis, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Economy, 2004-2008.

NEW-TIES: New and Evolving World Models through Individual, Evolutionary and Social Learning, EU FP6-FET project. The NEW TIES project is growing an artificial society using computer programming that develops agents–or adaptive, artificial beings–that have independent behaviors. The project is the first of its kind to develop a large-scale and highly complex computer-based society. The project’s results may have larger implications for information technologies design, evolutionary computing systems, artificial intelligence and linguistics. The project’s goal is to evolve an artificial society capable of exploring and understanding its environment through cooperation and interaction. The agents are sufficiently complex and their environment demanding, which enables them to develop a communication system to learn how to cooperate and to adapt, 2004-2007. Website.

FALK-ANDES: industry project, 2003.

DREAM: Distributed Evolutionary Algorithm Machine, EU FP5-IST. 2002-2005

GENERE: Genetic Relational Search for Inductive Learning, Dutch National Science Foundation (NWO), 2001-2004.

EvoNet 2: Network of Excellence in Evolutionary Computing, EU FP5-IST. 200-2003.