Books

Multi-Objective Decision Making
Multi-Objective Decision Making
Diederik M. Roijers and Shimon Whiteson
Morgan & Claypool, 2017
ISBN: 9781627059602 (paperback) / 9781627056991 (e-book)
Many real-world decision problems have multiple objectives. For example, when choosing a medical treatment plan, we want to maximize the efficacy of the treatment, but also minimize the side effects. These objectives typically conflict, e.g., we can often increase the efficacy of the treatment, but at the cost of more severe side effects. In this book, we outline how to deal with multiple objectives in decision-theoretic planning and reinforcement learning algorithms. To illustrate this, we employ the popular problem classes of multi-objective Markov decision processes (MOMDPs) and multi-objective coordination graphs (MO-CoGs).

First, we discuss different use cases for multi-objective decision making, and why they often necessitate explicitly multi-objective algorithms. We advocate a utility-based approach to multi-objective decision making, i.e., that what constitutes an optimal solution to a multi-objective decision problem should be derived from the available information about user utility. We show how different assumptions about user utility and what types of policies are allowed lead to different solution concepts, which we outline in a taxonomy of multi-objective decision problems.

Second, we show how to create new methods for multi-objective decision making using existing single-objective methods as a basis. Focusing on planning, we describe two ways to creating multi-objective algorithms: in the inner loop approach, the inner workings of a single-objective method are adapted to work with multi-objective solution concepts; in the outer loop approach, a wrapper is created around a single-objective method that solves the multi-objective problem as a series of single-objective problems. After discussing the creation of such methods for the planning setting, we discuss how these approaches apply to the learning setting.

Next, we discuss three promising application domains for multi-objective decision making algorithms: energy, health, and infrastructure and transportation. Finally, we conclude by outlining important open problems and promising future directions.
Computational Issues in Fluid Construction Grammar
Computational Issues in Fluid Construction Grammar
L. Steels (Ed)
Springer, 2012
ISBN:978-3-642-34119-9
This state-of-the-art-survey documents the Fluid Construction Grammar (FCG), a new formalism for the representation of lexicons and grammars, which has been used in a wide range of case studies for different languages, both for studying specific grammatical phenomena and design patterns, as for investigating language learning and language evolution. The book focuses on the many complex computational issues that arise when writing challenging real world grammars and hence emphasises depth of analysis rather than broad scope. The volume contains 13 contributions organized in 5 parts from "Basic", and "Implementation", over "Case Studies", and "Formal Analysis", up to 3 papers presenting a "Conclusion".
Language Grounding in Robots
Language Grounding in Robots
L. Steels and M. Hild (Eds)
Springer Verlag, 2012
ISBN: 978 1 4614 3063 6
  • Covers all aspects of language interaction with robots, from embodiment, action and perception to conceptualization and grammar in a single volume
  • Discusses several significant innovations, such as robotic embodiment, evolutionary derivation of neural controllers, embodied cognitive semantics and fluid construction grammar
  • Presents the new humanoid robot platform, Myon, used by an increasing number of research laboratories
Experiments in Cultural Language Evolution
Experiments in Cultural Language Evolution
L. Steels (Ed)
John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2012
ISBN: 978 90 272 0456 1
The fascinating question of the origins and evolution of language has been drawing a lot of attention recently, not only from linguists, but also from anthropologists, evolutionary biologists, and brain scientists. This groundbreaking book explores the cultural side of language evolution. It proposes a new overarching framework based on linguistic selection and self-organization and explores it in depth through sophisticated computer simulations and robotic experiments. Each case study investigates how a particular type of language system can emerge in a population of language game playing agents and how it can continue to evolve in order to cope with changes in ecological conditions. Case studies cover on the one hand the emergence of concepts and words for proper names, color terms, names for bodily actions, spatial terms and multi-dimensional words. The second set of experiments focuses on the emergence of grammar, specifically case grammar for expressing argument structure, functional grammar for expressing different uses of spatial relations, internal agreement systems for marking constituent structure, morphological expression of aspect, and quantifiers expressed as articles. The book is ideally suited as study material for an advanced course on language evolution and it will be of interest to anyone who wonders how human languages may have originated.
Design Patterns in Fluid Construction Grammar
Design Patterns in Fluid Construction Grammar
L. Steels (Ed)
John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2011
ISBN: 978 90 272 0433 2
Construction Grammar is enthusiastically embraced by a growing group of linguists who find it a natural way to formulate their analyses. But so far there is no widespread formalization of construction grammar with a solid computational implementation. Fluid Construction Grammar attempts to fill this gap. It is a fully operational computational framework capturing many key concepts in construction grammar. The present book is the first extensive publication describing this framework. In addition to general introductions, it gives a number of concrete examples through a series of linguistically challenging case studies, including phrase structure, case grammar, and modality. The book is suited both for linguists who want to know what Fluid Construction Grammar looks like and computational linguists who may want to use this computational framework for their own experiments or applications.
A Learning Zone of One's Own 
A Learning Zone of One's Own
M.Tokoro, L. Steels (Eds.)
IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2004.
ISBN: 15-8603-410-3
The book consists of three parts. The first part, entitled “Play and Grounding” looks at play as a context likely to reveal the essence of grounding. Grounding is the embodiment of understanding things/actions in relation to and/or integrated with their environments. The second part, entitled “Optimal Experience and Emotion” shows the close association between grounding and emotion. The third part, entitled “Pedagogy and Technology” elaborates on new technologies (the computer and Internet) and on concepts and pedagogical methodologies supported by such technologies