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AIC Seminar Series

Encoding knowledge of biological systems to facilitate its use in engineering design

Swaroop VattamGeorgia Institute of Technology[Home Page]

Notice:  Hosted by Vinay Chaudhri.

Date:  Thursday, May 10th 2012 at 4:00pm

Location:  EJ228 (SRI E building)  (Directions)


In this talk, I will be discussing a knowledge-based approach for facilitating interdisciplinary problem-solving that spans engineering and biology. Biologically inspired design is an emerging domain of interest where engineers mimic biological systems in order to develop novel technology. Successful application of this approach has impacted innovation in many areas, including prosthetics, robotics, transportation, materials, architecture, green energy, etc. But "technology transfer" from biology to engineering, i.e., identifying relevant biological systems to mimic and transferring their knowledge to solve human problems, remains one of the biggest challenges to successful problem-solving in this domain. To address this problem, I will argue that symbolic formulations of biological systems in a domain neutral form can be leveraged by both humans and AI systems to find parallels between engineering challenges and biological systems and facilitate the identification and transfer of knowledge from biology to engineering. I will present my recent work on Bio-SBF (Structure-Behavior-Function) representation language for capturing the knowledge of biological systems in a manner that promotes model-based reasoning and analogical reasoning, two key reasoning mechanisms for successful problem-solving in this domain. I will also discuss two practical applications, Biologue and DANE, which rely on Bio-SBF representations to provide knowledge-based services to aid practitioners in this domain. Finally, I will discuss empirical studies that were conducted in order to evaluate our theoretical claims about the usefulness of this knowledge-based approach to support design.

   Bio for Swaroop Vattam

Swaroop Vattam is a PhD candidate in computer science at Georgia Tech. He is part of the Design & Intelligence Lab at the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. His research interests lie in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and human-centered computing. He is primarily interested in the development of novel artificial intelligence systems that espouse the potential of emerging technologies, but that are also grounded in theories of human cognition and studies of communities of practice. He recently won the 2012 College of Computing’s outstanding graduate student award for his research. He received his BS in computer science from the National Institute of Engineering in India, and MS in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Georgia.

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