CAOE Seminar Series: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in a Threat Environment

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The Center for Accelerating Operational Efficiency presents Rajan Batta, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.  

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in a Threat Environment
Friday, November 2, 2018
2:30–4:30 p.m.
Brickyard (BYENG) 210, Tempe campus [map]

Abstract

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been proved to be successful and efficient for information collection in a modern battlefield, especially in areas that are considered to be dangerous for human pilots. We propose a decentralized control strategy while requiring UAVs to maintain radio silence during the entire mission. The strategy is analyzed based on a scenario where a fleet of vehicles is assigned to search and collect uncertain information in a set of regions within a given mission time. We demonstrate that a region-sharing strategy is beneficial even when there is no extra reward gained from additional information collection. Implementing a region-sharing strategy requires solving a decentralized time allocation problem, which is computationally intractable. To overcome this, an approximate formulation is developed under an independence assumption for information collected by different vehicles. This approximate formulation allows us to decompose, by vehicle, the time allocation problem, and obtain an easily implementable policy that takes on a Markovian form. We develop a sufficient condition under which the approximate formulation becomes exact. A numerical study establishes the computational efficiency of the method.

About the speaker

Rajan Batta is a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.

He uses operations research methods to develop and analyze mathematical models of systems critical to society. He is the recipient of numerous awards, the most significant being the David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award, the Albert G. Holzman Distinguished Educator Award and the Award for Technical Innovation in Industrial Engineering, all from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers. A Fellow of IIE, Batta is noted for his extensive scholarship in location and queuing theory, districting and routing, and as a national leader in the area of urban policing and public safety. The talk provided is based on a paper published in Operations Research in 2017. This paper has been selected to receive the 2018 Koopman Prize from the Military Applications Society of INFORMS.

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