Another idea is to use bribes to manipulate the system show how to resist bribery.  Can we use what they learned and instead use bribes for good as a means of inducing cooperation?  The problem trying to solve is how to bring about cooperation of self-interested agents when the only/main reason they would help is because you are bribing them to do it.  This is a weak form of cooperation, but could still produce cooperation.  Bribery is usually used to have someone do something illegal, so one example would be to bribe members of a team to give you information that your team could use against them.

I noticed the other day that this is a topic in the MAS book page 323.

Kramer Middle School Botball

I’ll write about this then…

Well I published that above on Feb 21 2014 and now its May 19 2014!  I am just now taking the time to right about how things went.  It was a busy semester.  So, I’ll just go right into it.

So, as part of CS 880 (Multi-Robotics) we volunteered at one of three underprivileged middle schools (initially 4 but one of them pulled out) Jefferson Houston, Kramer and TranSTEM Academy (which is I think is Cardoza) to teach robotics and prepare a team to enter the Botball competition.  I got to volunteer at Kramer Middle school, since while at the initial Botball workshop I worked with that middle school teacher and student.  At Kramer Middle school I worked with Jesse Hatfield (another PhD student that was in CS880).

Things that were interesting about Kramer:

1. “99% Black and 1% mixed race” (  The first time I went to the school one of the students was like “Look there’s a white guy!”.

2. The students wear a uniform White shirt and black/dark blue khakis.  I didn’t notice this until about the third time I went.  Interesting, I never had to wear a uniform and I went to public school in middle school…

3. They separated the classes by gender.

So, back to botball…  Our primary contact teacher at Kramer was Ms. Jefferson, however, later it became Ms. Daniels.  Our first day there we enter Ms. Daniels class room and the kids were wild.  Ms. Daniels is trying to settle the kids down, but to no avail.  So, she ignores them and asks us present!  So, in shock (neither Jesse or I expected to have to present Botball to the entire class of like 25 students) I pull out my laptop and get a video ready.  I connect it to the projector and start the Botball movie.  All of a sudden the room goes silent!  I could hardly believe it.  The movie is only 3 minutes and as soon as its over it is back to chaos.  Everyone is asking questions and wants to know why we are here, what other things can robots do, can we make robots that play football, etc…  So, we try and answer some of the questions and we finally ask Ms. Daniels where the Botball team is and where we are to meet.  Because there was no way could teach all 25 students robotics.




Some thoughts on MRL

MRL = Multirobot Learning

A quote from Multiagent Learning in Large Anonymous Games (Kash, Ian A et al.)

“With more learners, the noise introduced into pay- offs by exploration and mistakes becomes more consistent. Second, having more information typically improves performance. Publicly available statistics about the observed behavior of agents can allow an agent to learn effectively while making fewer local observations.”

So, for auctioning task would it be wise to be continuously auctioning off tasks to the robots even though they won’t actually be doing them so that they can learn how to bid more accurately in the different situations?  Use Dyna architecture.




The Magic of the Unknown

I like this quote at the beginning of the chapter on regression models in my stats book:

So startling would his results appear to the uninitiated that until they learned the process by which he had arrived at them they might well consider him as a necromancer.

Dr. Watson speaking about Sherlock Holmes — A Study in Scarlet

Quote — Buckminster Fuller

When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.

Buckminster Fuller


Came across this quote as I was looking into whether there exists N-dimensional hierarchies.


Found this paper not the most useful, but interesting (haven’t read the whole thing).