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Dr. Jeremy Frank to Attend Harvey Mudd College 'Clinic' Project Closeout for Computer Science Student Team He Assisted
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Dr. Jeremy Frank to Attend Harvey Mudd College 'Clinic' Project Closeout for Computer Science Student Team He Assisted

Dr. Jeremy Frank will attend the Harvey Mudd College (HMC) ‘Clinic' project closeout, where a computer science department team that he assisted will present their work. The Clinic project closeout will be held May 1st at HMC in Southern California.

Over the last nine months, an HMC computer science department team has been performing a senior capstone Clinic project involving coordination of a multi-robot team in the presence of uncertainty. The team is led by Professor Jim Boerkoel of the Human Experience and Agent Teamwork (HEAT) Lab at HMC. During the year, the team worked with Dr. Frank on project ideas, milestones, and techniques to conduct the project. The team explored the tradeoffs between rescheduling and broadcasting updated schedules to the team, and the success of the team in conducting the mission without violating any constraints. The team evaluated different project options, including demonstrating novel solutions on a robot in a Gazebo environment, but ultimately opted to do an empirical trade study.

The team developed three alternatives to trade the amount of rescheduling — and thus the amount of communication — in multi-agent teams. Reducing rescheduling reduces communication and therefore energy, but has consequences in terms of constraint violations. The research culminated in a workshop paper: "Trade-offs Between Communication, Rescheduling, and Success Rate in Uncertain Multi-Agent Schedules", which has been accepted for publication in the upcoming Integrating Planning and Execution Workshop in conjunction with the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS 2018).

BACKGROUND: Harvey Mudd College is located in Southern California and traditionally hosts the Clinic Program. The Clinic Program is a collaboration between industry and HMC for the past 50 years. The Clinic Program engages seniors and juniors in the solution of real-world, technical problems for industry clients. Founded as an innovation in engineering education in 1963, the Clinic Program has been copied by institutions worldwide. Since its inception, over 1,600 projects have been completed for more than 450 corporate, national laboratory, and agency sponsors. Companies retain all intellectual property rights that arise out of the project, and it is not uncommon for HMC students to be named on patents. This year’s HMC computer science team project is aligned with multiple NASA objectives, including autonomous human spacecraft, multi-spacecraft teams such as swarms, and mentoring the next generation of engineering and science students.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

POINT OF CONTACT: Jeremy Frank, jeremy.d.frank@nasa.gov

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