Seminar: Control Techniques for Complex Networks

Gainesville, FL:  Dr. Sean Meyn, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the director of the Laboratory for Cognition and Control at the University of Florida, will present a seminar entitled, “Control Techniques for Complex Networks, Or, Why I do not believe in integers.”  This seminar will be the first in the series held by the ISE Department for the fall semester.  The seminar will be held on Thursday, August 30th, from 4:05 to 4:55 p.m. in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Building, room 0234.

The talk will provide an overview of a monograph with the same name, as well as a UF course planned for the Spring of 2012.

In resource allocation, routing, and scheduling in complex networks, concerns about integers and statistics can block all intuition. The purpose of this research is to bring a control theorist’s perspective to operations research.  That is,  obtain the simplest model that captures essential features of the system to be controlled. In the case of stochastic networks, those features are
1)  Spatial homogeneity of the model
2)  Role of workload
3)  Inherent convexity, as well as the convexity that emerges from simple relaxation techniques.

The talk will provide a broad overview, with applications to semiconductor manufacturing and the power grid.

Prof. Sean Meyn received his B.A. degree in mathematics from UCLA in 1982, and his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from McGill University in 1987 (with Prof. P. Caines).  After 22 years as a professor at the University of Illinois,  he is now the Robert C. Pittman Eminent Scholar Chair in the Dept. of ECE at the University of Florida, and director of the new Laboratory for Cognition & Control.  His research interests include stochastic processes, optimization, complex networks, information theory, and power and energy systems.