Research Projects

FWO WOG – Guiding networked societies, linking data science and modelling

Networks of interconnected autonomous computing entities more and more support our society, interacting and influencing each other in complex and unforeseen ways. Examples are smart grids, intelligent traffic lights, logistics and voluntary peer­to­peer clouds as well as socio­technical systems or more generally the Internet of Things. Understanding the characteristics and dynamics of these systems both at the local and global scale is crucial in order to be able to guide such systems to desirable states.

Opinion Dynamics and Cultural Conflict in European Spaces (ODYCCEUS)

The project aims at developing new empirically grounded theoretical foundations and new interactive and participatory tools for understanding, analyzing, visualizing and monitoring the emergence of social con icts and crises driven by di erences in culture and by diverging world-views, with a focus on their distribution in the European geopolitical and media space.

Life-Long Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning

Reinforcement Learning is currently applied to single tasks, for instance parking a car, playing a video game, navigating to a goal, etc. Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning allows to decompose a complex task into simpler sub-tasks. For instance, an agent may progressively learn to grab objects, turn them, open doors, navigate through hallways (with doors), then do something interesting in a complete building. This project applies Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning to very complex tasks, for which the agent has to learn many skills.

Coordinating Human and Agent Behaviour in Collective-Risk Scenarios

Different situations, wherein humans interact among themselves or through technologies in hybrid socio-technical systems, resemble social dilemmas, i.e. situations wherein participants have to select between short-term personal profits and long-term social benefits. The behavioural outcome in those dilemmas is very much dependent on how successful the participants are in calculating the risk associated to the uncertainty of future rewards and on anticipating the opponents’ choices.

Fleet Reinforcement Learning for Wind Farm Control

The world is a connected place, in which the cloud plays an increasingly vital role. One example is the Internet of Things, which has a topic of conversation in virtually all industries. The control of physical devices is no exception: modern wireless sensors allow these devices to move forward from local controllers towards smarter cloud-based architectures.

ArTificial Language uNdersTanding In robotS (ATLANTIS)

ATLANTIS attempts to understand and model the very first stages in grounded language learning, as we see in children until the age of three: how pointing or other symbolic gestures emerge from the ontogenetic ritualization of instrumental actions, how words are learned very fast in contextualized language games, and how the first grammatical constructions emerge from concrete sentences.

Identifying the mechanisms involved in transducing binding information through SH3-SH2 supradomains and their role in regulating the activity of members of the family of Src kinases.

Communication is essential at all biological scales. Our cells have been rigged with communication systems that allow them to respond properly to environmental cues. These systems, or signaling pathways, are composed of different proteins, whose activity is regulated by other proteins. This intricate regulatory system ensures that cells provide the right response, both in kind and magnitude. Errors in regulation often result in diseases.