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Research Interests

  • Complex Systems
  • Non-linear Dynamics, Chaos
  • Phase Transitions
  • Synchronization
  • Networks
  • Self Organization, Emergence

Current Research

Coordination of Multiple UAVs

Previous Research

  • Synchronization of Oscillators and Adaptation to the Edge of Chaos

    We studied synchronization of oscillators. We used mechanical metronomes as self-sustained oscillators and we had experimental settings to study their synchronization. A sample of synchronization is shown in the following video

    We also had settings for active coupling, which means that the metronomes were on a moving base and the movements of the base affected the metronomes (their angular velocity, to be precise). On the other hand the movements of the base were affected by the phases of the metronomes and hence we had a dynamical system. The schematic of the system is as follows

    We let this system adjust itself and we studied how the system evolveed through time.

    A sample of an experiment when the cart moves is shown below

  • I participated in Santa Fe Institute Complex Systems Summer School 2009. One of the projects was about "The Effect of Gossip on Social Networks". It was eventually published in Complexity journal. The published paper is accessible here.
  • In the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Texas A&M University, we studied a system that contained multiple agents with limited capabilities. Our goal was to raise a group level intelligence. We created a vector field to guide the agents in the environment. This vector field was made by blending a set of linear dynamical systems so that as a whole, it showed the desired non-linear behavior. Each linear system had an equilibrium, which was stable or unstable and was a node or a focus. The blending function was a differentiable combination of those linear functions that guided the agents in the environment. In that system the obstacles were presented with unstable nodes or foci and targets were presented with stable nodes or foci (the choice of node or focus depended on the type). The agents were simple and limited, but they could still achieve a set of goals.

  • My MS thesis in University of Tehran was about "Using Environment as a Means of Communication in Distributed Systems". In that research we considered the methods that the agents in an environment use for implicit communication. That led our research to systems with high number of agents that have limited capabilities. They had uncertainties in their sensory inputs and had bounded rationality in their decision makings. We developed some approaches for overcoming these limitations. As an example, we showed that how a set of virtual springs connecting the agents together could result in robust group movements. Using RoboCup benchmark, we also showed that when we have limited amount of processing resources, our agents performed better than sophisticated agents. We also set some experiments with multiple light weight robots and studied the group behaviors.

  • In a part of my researches in Texas A&M University, we studied some naturally occurring behaviors in groups of individuals (more details are here). We modeled and simulated the behaviors of the individuals and observed the group behaviors that emerged from their interactions. We inspired from some natural behavior like foraging, pursuing and patrolling.
  • I worked for a period of time on Survivor Buddy Project (a joint venture of Stanford University, Texas A&M University, and The University of South Florida, corporately sponsored by Microsoft)

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?

Mahatma Gandhi