Ufuk Topcu

"My research is on the design and verification of autonomous, networked systems.


The current projects are on mobile robots & vehicles and their integration into transportation & electrical energy systems. I classify them into three groups:

- Inside the vehicle — dynamic resource management for more-electric, reconfigurable vehicular subsystems

- Vehicle itself as an autonomous robot — automated construction of reactive autonomy protocols from high-level specifications

- Vehicle as part of a broader infrastructure — distributed control for electrified, shared urban mobility

The central question is how we can build provably correct (by synthesis or by verification) protocol-based control systems. The technical challenges on which I currently focus include (i) ability to handle heterogenous models, specifications, and uncertainties; (ii) scalability of the tools; (iii) abundance or lack information during execution; and (iv) interfacing with human operators and learning modules.

I approach these challenges by applying—and often extending—techniques from controls; nonlinear, hybrid, stochastic systems; formal methods; and optimization."

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