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Model Predictive Control for Autonomous Vehicles and Robots

   Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics

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  Dr Kirill Sidorov, Dr Oktay Karakus  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Model predictive control (MPC) is a family of modern control methods that have demonstrated impressive performance in a variety of scenarios, including in robotics and autonomous vehicle control. Such methods rely on models that can predict a system's future behaviour in response to control inputs in order to find the optimal actions that drive the system to a desired state. MPC methods can handle highly non-linear systems, with complex interactions between inputs and outputs. While MPC is now an established field, a number of questions remain open. This project aims to further enrich this family of methods by using state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to improve predictive modelling.

In particular, one or more of the following topics will be investigated:

(1) Effective techniques for on-line learning of predictive models from sparse training data.

(2) Explicit modelling of uncertainties in the predictive models.

(3) Multi-modal and multi-objective control optimisation.

(4) Modelling interactions with potentially dynamic environment.

The candidate will be working within an expert team at the forefront of modern control theory and state-of-the-art machine learning. This project will thus equip the student with specialist knowledge in advanced computer science, focusing on transferable skills in machine learning (especially deep learning), data mining, and high-performance numerical computing.

The prospective candidate will perform both theoretical research and carry out experimental work (in simulations and potentially with autonomous vehicle prototypes). Thus, an interest and practical experience in electronics and robotics will be a bonus. The candidate will also be encouraged to join, and ideally to lead, the emerging Cardiff Autonomous Racing team.

Keywords: machine learning, control theory, robotics

Contact for information on the project: [Email Address Removed]

Academic criteria: A 2:1 Honours undergraduate degree or a master's degree, in computing or a related subject. Applicants with appropriate professional experience are also considered. Degree-level mathematics (or equivalent) is required for research in some project areas.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate proficiency by obtaining an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each skills component.

How to apply:

Please contact the supervisors of the project prior to submitting your application to discuss and develop an individual research proposal that builds on the information provided in this advert. Once you have developed the proposal with support from the supervisors, please submit your application following the instructions provided below

Please submit your application before the application deadline 29th April 2022 via Computer Science and Informatics - Study - Cardiff University

In order to be considered candidates must submit the following information: 

  • Supporting statement 
  • CV 
  • In the ‘Research Proposal’ section of the application enter the name of the project you are applying to and upload your Individual research proposal, as mentioned above in BOLD
  • In the funding field of your application, insert “I am applying for 2022 PhD Scholarship in Computer Science and Informatics”, and specify the project title and supervisors of this project in the text box provided.
  • Qualification certificates and Transcripts
  • References x 2 
  • Proof of English language (if applicable)

Interview - If the application meets the entrance requirements, you will be invited to an interview.  

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

A School-Funded PhD Scholarship is available for entry 2022/23.
In the Funding field of your application, insert "I am applying for 2022 PhD Scholarship" and specify the project title and supervisor of this project in the fields provided.
This project is also open to Self-Funded students worldwide. If you are interested in applying for a Self-Funded PhD, please search FindAPhD for this specific project title, supervisor or School within its Scholarships category.

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