Seminars & Colloquia

Victor Lesser

University of Massachusetts Amherst

"A Practical Application of Cooperative Multi-Agent Technology: The DCAS Severe Weather Radar Detection and Tracking System"

Monday November 07, 2011 04:00 PM
Location: 3211, EB2 NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)

This talk is part of the Triangle Computer Science Distinguished Lecturer Series



Over the last eight years, there has been a large, multi-university research effort, called CASA, centered at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to develop a next-generation radar system for quickly detecting and tracking severe weather phenomena such as tornadoes. The result has been the development of a distributed adaptive radar system, called DCAS, which has been deployed in a 4-node test configuration in a region of the state of Oklahoma that has one of the highest incidences of tornadoes in the United States. The test system’s performance has more than matched the original goals of the project. 

The system architecture is highly distributed and scalable, which brings up a number of interesting agent issues involving coordination of radar scheduling, distributed meta-level control of radar configurations, and multi-step optimization. In his talk, Professor Lesser will first overview the basic architecture of the system, and then discuss how these agent coordination and scheduling issues were solved.

Short Bio:

Victor R. Lesser received his B.A. in Mathematics from Cornell University in 1966, and the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1973. He then was a research scientist at Carnegie-Mellon University, working on the Hearsay-II speech understanding system, where he was the system architect.  He has been a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 1977, and was named Distinguished Professor of Computer Science in 2009. He retired in June 2011 to emeritus status, but continues to be an active researcher, and serves as Director of the Multi-Agent Systems Laboratory.

Professor Lesser’s major research focus is on the control and organization of complex AI systems. He is considered a leading international researcher in the areas of multi-agent systems, blackboard systems, and real-time AI. He has also made contributions in the areas of computer architecture, signal understanding, diagnostics, plan recognition, and computer-supported cooperative work. He has worked in application areas such as sensor networks for vehicle tracking and weather monitoring, speech and sound understanding, information gathering on the internet, peer-to-peer information retrieval, intelligent user interfaces, distributed task allocation and scheduling, and virtual agent enterprises. He has over 400 publications describing this work, including a number of ‘best paper’ awards, and he has supervised 36 Ph.D. students.

Professor Lesser is a Founding Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and an IEEE Fellow. He was General Chair of the first international conference on Multi-Agent Systems (ICMAS) in 1995, and Founding President of the International Foundation of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (IFAAMAS) in 1998. To honor his contributions to the field of multi-agent systems, IFAAMAS established the “Victor Lesser Distinguished Dissertation Award.” He received the UMass Amherst College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Outstanding Teaching Award (2004) and Outstanding Research Award (2008), and the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity (2008). Professor Lesser was also the recipient of the IJCAI’09 Award for Research Excellence. 

Host: Munindar Singh, Computer Science, NCSU

To access the video of this talk, click here.

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