PhD Scholarships

Team Behaviour Modelling

There is a $15,000 ($5,000 x 3yrs) PhD top-up scholarship available to a suitable candidate for this project! There is scope to deviate from the below as long as it is related. An ideal candidate is a student with an APA (RMIT APA) looking for a top-up. The student must be an Australian Citizen. Contact me to discuss if you are interested. 

The aim of this project is to develop a methodology and notation for specifying and designing complex team oriented strategic behaviours. While initially focused on modelling military operations, the methodology can be applied to any complex coordinated system of interacting autonomous entities whether it be in the simulated or real world. While there are existing software and systems engineering techniques for specifying and designing safety and security critical systems, no such methodology exist for specifying coordinated tactical behaviour of mixed human and autonomous systems. This research collaboration aims to develop such techniques which lie at the intersection of software engineering, systems engineering and artificial intelligence. The purpose of this research collaboration aims to lay the ground work for the systematic specification of intelligent systems. Although it is expected the initial application will be for the simulation of complex air operations, it is envisaged that the methodology can be applied to the specification of autonomous behaviour in other (non-military) domains. 

Over the last 2 years, researchers at RMIT University in collaboration with DSTO have investigated a Tactical Development Framework (TDF) where the focus was on modelling tactics from an individual agent’s point of view and did not consider teams of agents or team tactics as it wasn’t critical to submarine application domain. However, team modelling is critical in the area of Aerospace simulation. In this project we will extend TDF to incorporate models of teams and team tactics so it can be used in air combat simulations.&nbsp Team modelling requires explicit modelling of team hierarchies, team goals, team plans, team coordination, task delegation etc., and these are currently not captured in TDF. We will investigate the existing approaches to team-based modelling, such as the seminal work of Tambe and team-oriented agent implementations such as Machinetta that have been used in military simulations, and will adapt and extend the necessary concepts to fit within the TDF methodology. Our key aim is to capture the necessary information at the appropriate level of abstraction such that it is easily understood and altered by the domain experts, but is also expressed in sufficient detail to allow pushing into various simulation environments such as VBS3 and OneSAF

A Framework for Modelling Tactical Decision-Making in Autonomous Systems - Rick Evertsz, John Thangarajah, Nitin Yadav, Thanh Ly, In Journal of Systems and Software, volume , published online awaiting volume, 2015. () 

Tactics Development Framework (System Demo) - Rick Evertsz, John Thangarajah, Nitin Yadav, Thanh Ly, In Proceedings of the 13th International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS-2014), 1639--1640, Paris, France, 2014. ( PDF )

© John Thangarajah 2016