Microsoft Future Leaders in Robotics and AI Seminar Series: Angeline Aguinaldo

Friday, April 7, 2023
2:00 p.m.
Online Seminar

A Category Theoretic Approach to Planning in a Complex World

Zoom Link

Angeline Aguinaldo
PhD Student
Computer Science Department
University of Maryland, College Park


Context-aware autonomous agents possess the desirable ability to plan their tasks in spite of a dynamic and complex context. Structured representations of world states in the form of knowledge and scene graphs have shown to be useful tools for modeling such context information that are both intrinsic and extrinsic to the agent. Existing autonomous platforms, however, are limited in their ability to maintain and update world states represented in these languages during planning and execution in a principled manner. Additionally, existing classical procedures forgo the ability to implicitly preserve global semantics of the scene when local changes are induced or observed. This talk will discuss an alternate representation and framework for automated planning that uses functorial semantics from category theory and graph rewriting to gain such properties. We will also touch on how this representation might enable analogies in planning, online planning, and affordance-based reasoning as future work.


Angeline Aguinaldo is a Computer Science PhD student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests lie at the intersection of knowledge representation, AI planning, and category theory. She is also an AI researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL). She received her Master's degree in Electrical Engineering and Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University.

About the Seminar Series

The Future Leaders in Robotics and AI: Celebrating Diversity and Innovation Seminar Series is part of the University of Maryland and Microsoft Robotics and Diversity Initiative. This is a nationwide online seminar series for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, or early-career professionals, especially underrepresented minorities and women. The seminar series highlights the latest research and innovation in the field of robotics and AI. The series is intended to provide exposure and mentorship opportunities to the speakers, build a network of innovators across the country, and support the speakers’ career planning.

The seminars are held once per month during the academic year. There are two speakers per seminar. Each speaker gives a 20-minute research presentation followed by a Q&A segment. Immediately after the second seminar, the speakers participate in a discussion with faculty.


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