I, Librarian an alternative to Mendeley

Well, I collaborate frequently with people on research projects.  This involves sharing research papers.  I do this through Mendeley.  However, they put a limit on the number of people allowed to be in one group and on the total size limit of the files.  I only have 5mb left on a group!  So, I am thinking that it would be nice to switch to something else.  The best thing I have found is: http://www.bioinformatics.org/librarian/.  They are open source and I can run their server on my laptop at home.  Also, they still have the annotation and highlight feature which is nice. However, it is all web based.  So, I am worried that some of my bigger pdfs will have trouble…  Also, I wonder how it will handle previous annotations and highlights.

Large MAS app. Parking lots

So the idea is that parking lots and local walmarts are not going to be able to afford remaking their parking lots so that when we have autonomous cars we can get dropped off at the door and the robot park somewhere and then pick us up at the entrance.  This is because structurally there is not enough room for a line of cars to wait for the customers to get dropped off.  Also, since most walmarts the entrances and exits are the same door we would also   The line would become like the one when picking up kids from school.  So, it is probably logistically best if the walmarts that are already built have the customers walk from the parking spot of the car.  The problem then becomes one of optimization.  One, I don’t want to walk far going into the store and coming out.  So, the idea is that the emmergent behavior that I want out of the bounties is one of a cycle where initially I want to park as close to the entrance as possible.  Then as time goes on the cars must move to spaces further from the entrance so that those just coming in can park and those leaving can move closer to the exit to pick up the leaving customers.  We want to have the robots learn patterns of behavior and adapt them rather than specific

Want to create behavior patterns and learn the patterns of the particular environment to adapt and choose which pattern of behavior should be used.  The dynamics change as you move through the parking lot since it all depends on the number of cars in the parking lot, the layout of the parking lot, the heterogeneity of the cars (trucks, tractor trailers, RVs, cars, motor cycles etc) and the uncertainty about how long each car is expecting its passengers to be in the store.  How long you are going to be in the store is not something you want to share with the other cars.  That is private information.  We only want our car to know this.  And this number is only an estimate since it is doesn’t know if you are going to stop and talk with a friend you happen to spot while in the store.  Of course to improve the accuracy there would be need to be an interface via your smart phone to be able to tell it your progression.  However, this seems like a nice area for those wearable sensors to be able to predict your progress in your trip through the store and make adjustments based on you seeing something you like that wasn’t on your list.

So the idea is that with the bounties is that the cars would have a distributed mechanism solving the constraint satisfaction problem of everyone needs a parking spot and the optimization problem of specific spots wanted.

So, I think that coalitions of agents will emerge due to common exit times of the customers.  Also I think we want to minimize the number of movements that the cars make.  So, essentially if you know that your passenger is going to be in the store for a while make room closer to the entrance.  Essentially you place a bounty out for a parking spot closer to the entrance.

To pay the bounties would your client have to collect tokens for parking far away and then you would be able to use them in order to park closer.

A case where a lot of vehicles are trying to park at the same time is at distribution centers such as Utz.  Many drivers leave the center and come back to the center to park all around the same time.  This might be interesting as well…  I don’t know…

This would also be useful in the case where we have a system where there are both autonomous and human driven cars.

Another problem is the size of the vehicles and finding parking spots that take up multiples.

That is why I think it would be awesome if the cars were sort of like the bike share program then there would always be a car waiting at the front.  The part that would yours could be stored in a locker…

Crowd source Bird ID APP

I was taking a walk tonight and I was listening to the birds and wishing I had an app that could ID the birds by their call/song/chirp.  I got back home and did a little digging and I couldn’t find an app that did this.  So, either it is too hard or too expensive or both.  However, I think that it would be really cool.

So, it would work like this if I were to make it…  I would have the user’s location and I would know the date and the user would start recording.  The program would try and pick out possible spots in the recording where it thought there were bird sounds and ask the user which one if any were actually birds.  There would be a neat little slider for them to pick out the time frame where the bird actually chirped.  Then that sound bite would be classified using our database using machine learning algorithms.  They would then get back a description of the bird, picture of it, and other sounds it makes.  If it wasn’t able to id the bird then it would ask you if you happened to know it and you could add that bird to our database.  The more people that contributed the better the database would get and more accurate the results would be.  You could take a pic and link to maybe the wikipedia article or other article on it.

Then, as more and more people used the app we could have a game where it could sort of be like a scavenger hunt for birds.  Also, it would be cool to make a map of all the birds around the world that you could explore and would be built by the gps coordinates of the people using the app.

ST-SR-IA number of robots

An interesting tidbit quote on the optimal assignment problem (aka ST–SR–IA:Single-Task Robots, Single-RobotTasks, Instantaneous Assignment, the multirobot task allocation problem):

“Thus, for small-scale to medium-scale systems, say n< 200, a broadcast-based centralized assignment solution is likely the better choice” [1].

Note that n is the number of robots.  This is an interesting assertion and is backed up by their experiments.  They had 300 robots and 300 tasks and they used the Hungarian method to do the task distribution it ran in under 1 second and that was on a Pentium III 700 MHz machine!

[1]  Gerkey, B. P. (2004). A Formal Analysis and Taxonomy of Task Allocation in Multi-Robot Systems. The International Journal of Robotics Research, 23(9), 939–954. doi:10.1177/0278364904045564


Brian Gerkey is pretty cool http://www.ai.sri.com/~gerkey/index.php?src=pubs http://robotics.stanford.edu/~gerkey/


I gotta use this one day:

The task is not easy, as policy makers and political and economic elites often reinforce dysfunctional institutions. But it is impossible without considering the varieties of capitalism in play today. The right institutional makeup can in fact increase equitable wealth creation, but to ignore institutional differences is akin to putting an ill-fitting adult suit on a growing teenager–they either wear the suit awkwardly or take the suit off as soon as the adult isn’t looking. It is much better to tailor the clothing to the person wearing it.

The bolded section is the part that I would reuses the rest is just context.

http://qz.com/210063/pikettys-big-flaw-capitalism-isnt-the-same-around-the-world/#/h/69921,4,69926,1/ interesting article by the way…

Secure Task Allocation Scheme

In the future the robots that are being used will most likely be common enough that anyone could purchase one and given enough knowledge infiltrate a system of robots.  Currently the level of security in task allocation methods for robots is like that of communication of localization data between large ships, nonexistent.  Methods for attack:

1. Steal a robot already being used either physically or remote hijacking

2. Wifi comm interference device (take out communication)

3. Plant an identical robot in the group.  Requires the ability of the robot to quickly integrate an become part of the group.  Once involved reconnaissance and

4.  Mirroring (man in the middle), essentially take control of the entire swarm and provide limited, looped or custom access/control to legal owners.

I’m sure there are many more.  These are the first four that came to mind.  I know that this is not something that needs to happen right now, but it is something that needs to be considered as more and more people and institutions start using robots.  Just as people hack smart phones and regular computers there will be even more incentive to hack and infiltrate robots.

So, how would you go about securing robots?  This seems like a very tough problem without constant surveillance to notify you of such things.  But then who watches the watchers as they like to say…

Fuzzy Teams (3/3/14)

I wrote this on a forum for a class I had.

I was thinking about framing team membership with fuzzy sets.

1. Need a good way to keep up-to-date on how likely each of the other agents are part of your team

2. How to tell how others perceive you being in particular teams.

The fuzzy set is a framework for describing how likely you are part of a particular set (ie team).

This could then inform decision making, communication, coordination, etc.

Some links a friend in class suggested.



My response:

So, the reason I was thinking this might be useful is when an agent (robot) is part of multiple teams. Using various weighted metrics such as number of interactions, proximity to other members, communication and availability (metrics might be overlapping…) the “fuzziness” of being part of the team could be established.

Now just need to figure out a specific case where we have dynamic teams that having this info helps.



assuming a team is a coalition.

Current (5/10/14): Now I am thinking that this will go well with my “Friendship Network” idea.  Especially when using the bounties.