Postdoctoral Associate Position in Simulations of Complex Systems
Opportunity for Cutting-edge Research in Complex Systems Simulations Applied to Urban Analytics
The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) seeks to fill a post-doctoral position in the area of complex systems simulations in the NRF-funded “New Urban Kampong” (NUK) Program. The NUK program aims at creating a cross-disciplinary platform through a public-private collaboration (HDB-SUTD-MIT-EDF) to rethink the future of housing in Singapore. Specifically, the NUK program consists of 4 integrated projects, and the open position is part of Project #4 on Urban Analytics in close collaboration with our industrial partner EDF. The objective of this project is to develop an urban analytics tool that incorporates the concept of Quality of Life (QoL) developed in Project #2. The selected candidate will have a unique opportunity to carry out a truly interdisciplinary work with an international team of outstanding researchers at SUTD. The primary focus will be to develop a population model using agent based modeling (ABM) approaches, with the final aim to integrate it into a large-scale simulation platform originally developed by EDF.
Research Task “Project #4”
Supervisors: Prof. Roland Bouffanais and Prof. Bige Tunçer (SUTD)
Collaborator: Mr. Benjamin Mousseau & Mr. Maxime Cassat (EDF)
PhD holder with a background in discrete numerical simulations (agent based models, ABMs, and otherwise) and complex systems. This position will investigate topics related to virtual population simulations. Prior work on complex systems theory, or ABMs, and some experience in the application field of urban environments would be a plus.
Duration: 1 year (with possibility of extension up to 3 years in total)
Successful candidates should have received a Ph.D. degree in Physics, Computational Science or a related field.
Research expertise in complexity science and discrete numerical simulations will be considered a plus.
Solid working knowledge in Python coding.
Ability to work both independently and in a team environment, and to take ownership of, and autonomously carry forward, major aspects of a research project.
Ability of approaching research problems with a system view, of working in a multidisciplinary team environment, problem solving skills and high creativity.
Candidates must present strong publication record, as well as excellent verbal and written communication skills.
From schools of fish, to swarms of insects, to flocks of birds, many animals live and move in groups. They have no leader, no central coordinator, and yet manage to perform awe-inspiring coordinated displays of collective motion. These swarming behaviors are archetypal examples of how local coordination between nearby animals translates into an emerging global behavior. But how localized should this local coordination be? Is more interaction always better? Not all animal taxon swarms, and observations of flocks of starlings show that they limit their interaction to their six-to-seven nearest neighbors.
New simulations of predators attacking a swarm help explain these observations. The simulations show that the group has a higher chance of survival when members limit the amount of individuals they interact with during their collective motion. This work reveals the clear parallel between collective evasive maneuvers and the spread of information in social networks.
If one thinks of the predator's presence as a "signal" that propagates through a network, it is expected that the earlier an individual receives this signal, the better its chances are of avoiding the predator. Using classical models of behavioral spread through complex networks, researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) observed that the propagation speed is radically increased when limiting the average number of connections allowed. Thus, the insights gathered from the behavior of swarming animals can be applied to many problems in engineering and social sciences: from increasing the flexibility of the power grid and designing responsive swarms of robots, to improving crowd mobility and optimizing information spreading on social networks.
For all the benefits that coordination and collective behavior yields to the members of a group, it seems that when it comes to social interaction there can be too much of a good thing.
Principal investigator, SUTD Assistant Professor Roland Bouffanais said: "For a long time, it was assumed that the performance of a group improves by making it more connected. This research shows the unexpected detrimental effects of having too many connections for both living and artificial systems."
The organizing committee will comprise members of NUS, A*STAR, and SUTD supported by the co-chairs of the IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Multi-Robot Systems:
Bryan Kian Hsiang Low Assistant Professor > Dept. Computer Science > NUS Ph.D. Electrical & Computer Engineering > Carnegie Mellon University lowkhATcompDOTnusDOTeduDOTsg Research interests: multi-robot/agent systems, machine learning, planning
Somchaya Liemhetcharat Senior Engineer > Uber Advanced Technologies Center Ph.D. Robotics > Carnegie Mellon University somATsomchayaDOTorg Research interests: multi-robot/agent systems
Roland Bouffanais Assistant Professor > SUTD Ph.D. Science > Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne bouffanaisATsutdDOTeduDOTsg Research interests: multi-robot systems, theoretical & computational complexity science
Robert Fitch Senior Research Fellow > ACFR > The University of Sydney Ph.D. Computer Science > Dartmouth College rfitchATacfrDOTusydDOTeduDOTau Research interests: autonomous field robotics
Lorenzo Sabattini Assistant Professor > Dept. Sciences and Methods for Engineering > University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Ph.D. Control Systems and Operational Research > University of Bologna lorenzoDOTsabattiniATunimoreDOTit Research interests: multi-robot systems, decentralized estimation & control, mobile robotics
Antonio Franchi Permanent Researcher (CR1) > LAAS-CNRS Ph.D. Control, Systems Theory, and Robotics > "La Sapienza" University of Rome antonioDOTfranchiATlaasDOTfr Research interests: multi-robot systems, autonomous systems and robotics
Nora Ayanian Assistant Professor > Dept. Computer Science > University of Southern California Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering > University of Pennsylvania ayanianATuscDOTedu Research interests: multi-robot systems, autonomous systems and robotics
David Hsu Professor > Dept. Computer Science > NUS Ph.D. Computer Science > Stanford University dyhsuATcompDOTnusDOTeduDOTsg Research interests: robotics, planning
Marcelo H. Ang, Jr. Associate Professor > Dept. Mechanical Engineering > NUS Ph.D. Electrical Engineering > University of Rochester mpeanghATnusDOTeduDOTsg Research interests: robotics, mechatronics, and applications of intelligent systems methodologies