Dynamical systems for predictive control of autonomous robots

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regularities in the environment are accessible to an autonomous agents as reproducible relations between actions and perceptions and can be exploited by unsupervised learning. Our approach is based on the possibility to perform and to verify predictions about perceivable consequences of actions. It is implemented as a three-layer neural network that combines predictive perception, internal-state transitions and action selection into a loop which closes via the environment. In addition to minimizing prediction errors, the goal of network adaptation comprises also an optimization of the minimization rate such that new behaviors are favored over already learned ones, which would result in a vanishing improvement of predictability. Previously learned behaviors are reactivated or continued if triggering stimuli are available and an externally or otherwise given reward overcompensates the decay of the learning rate. In the model, behavior learning and learning behavior are brought about by the same mechanism, namely the drive to continuously experience learning success. Behavior learning comprises representation and storage of learned behaviors and finally their inhibition such that a further exploration of the environment is possible. Learning behavior, in contrast, detects the frontiers of the manifold of learned behaviors and provides estimates of the learnability of behaviors leading outwards the field of expertise. The network module has been implemented in a Khepera miniature robot. We also consider hierarchical architectures consisting of several modules in one agent as well as groups of several agents, which are controlled by such networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-252
Number of pages12
JournalTheory in Biosciences
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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