This paper presents the application of the concepts and approaches of linear graph (LG) theory in the modeling and simulation of a 4-wheel skid-steer mobile robotic system. An LG representation of the system is proposed and the accompanying state-space model of the dynamics of a mobile robot system is evaluated using the associated LGtheory MATLAB toolbox, which was developed in our lab. A genetic algorithm (GA)-based parameter estimation method is employed to determine the system parameters, which leads to a very accurate simulation of the model. The developed model is then evaluated and validated by comparing the simulated LG model trajectory with the trajectory of a ROS Gazebo simulated robot and experimental data obtained from the physical robotic system. The obtained results demonstrate that the proposed LG model, combined with the GA parameter estimation process, produces a highly accurate method of modeling and simulating a mobile robotic system.

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Over the last decade, there has been a spike in criminal activity all around the globe. According to the Indian police department, vehicle theft is one of the least solved offenses, and almost 19% of all recorded cases are related to motor vehicle theft. To overcome these adversaries, we propose a real-time vehicle surveillance system, which detects and tracks the suspect vehicle using the CCTV video feed. The proposed system extracts various attributes of the vehicle such as Make, Model, Color, License plate number, and type of the license plate. Various image processing and deep learning algorithms are employed to meet the objectives of the proposed system. The extracted features can be used as evidence to report violations of law. Although the system uses more parameters, it is still able to make real time predictions with minimal latency and accuracy loss.

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Koopman operator theory has been gaining momentum for model extraction, planning, and control of data-driven robotic systems. The Koopman operator's ability to extract dynamics from data depends heavily on the selection of an appropriate dictionary of lifting functions. In this paper we propose ACD-EDMD, a new method for Analytical Construction of Dictionaries of appropriate lifting functions for a range of data-driven Koopman operator based nonlinear robotic systems. The key insight of this work is that information about fundamental topological spaces of the nonlinear system (such as its configuration space and workspace) can be exploited to steer the construction of Hermite polynomial-based lifting functions. We show that the proposed method leads to dictionaries that are simple to implement while enjoying provable completeness and convergence guarantees when observables are weighted bounded. We evaluate ACD-EDMD using a range of diverse nonlinear robotic systems in both simulated and physical hardware experimentation (a wheeled mobile robot, a two-revolute-joint robotic arm, and a soft robotic leg). Results reveal that our method leads to dictionaries that enable high-accuracy prediction and that can generalize to diverse validation sets. The associated GitHub repository of our algorithm can be accessed at \url{https://github.com/UCR-Robotics/ACD-EDMD}.

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This work presents the coordinated motion control and obstacle-crossing problem for the four wheel-leg independent motor-driven robotic systems via a model predictive control (MPC) approach based on an event-triggering mechanism. The modeling of a wheel-leg robotic control system with a dynamic supporting polygon is organized. The system dynamic model is 3 degrees of freedom (DOF) ignoring the pitch, roll and vertical motions. The single wheel dynamic is analyzed considering the characteristics of motor-driven and the Burckhardt nonlinear tire model. As a result, an over-actuated predictive model is proposed with the motor torques as inputs and the system states as outputs. As the supporting polygon is only adjusted at certain conditions, an event-based triggering mechanism is designed to save hardware resources and energy. The MPC controller is evaluated on a virtual prototype as well as a physical prototype. The simulation results guide the parameter tuning for the controller implementation in the physical prototype. The experimental results on these two prototypes verify the efficiency of the proposed approach.

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Using a model heat engine, we show that neural network-based reinforcement learning can identify thermodynamic trajectories of maximal efficiency. We consider both gradient and gradient-free reinforcement learning. We use an evolutionary learning algorithm to evolve a population of neural networks, subject to a directive to maximize the efficiency of a trajectory composed of a set of elementary thermodynamic processes; the resulting networks learn to carry out the maximally-efficient Carnot, Stirling, or Otto cycles. When given an additional irreversible process, this evolutionary scheme learns a previously unknown thermodynamic cycle. Gradient-based reinforcement learning is able to learn the Stirling cycle, whereas an evolutionary approach achieves the optimal Carnot cycle. Our results show how the reinforcement learning strategies developed for game playing can be applied to solve physical problems conditioned upon path-extensive order parameters.

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The focus of Part I of this monograph has been on both the fundamental properties, graph topologies, and spectral representations of graphs. Part II embarks on these concepts to address the algorithmic and practical issues centered round data/signal processing on graphs, that is, the focus is on the analysis and estimation of both deterministic and random data on graphs. The fundamental ideas related to graph signals are introduced through a simple and intuitive, yet illustrative and general enough case study of multisensor temperature field estimation. The concept of systems on graph is defined using graph signal shift operators, which generalize the corresponding principles from traditional learning systems. At the core of the spectral domain representation of graph signals and systems is the Graph Discrete Fourier Transform (GDFT). The spectral domain representations are then used as the basis to introduce graph signal filtering concepts and address their design, including Chebyshev polynomial approximation series. Ideas related to the sampling of graph signals are presented and further linked with compressive sensing. Localized graph signal analysis in the joint vertex-spectral domain is referred to as the vertex-frequency analysis, since it can be considered as an extension of classical time-frequency analysis to the graph domain of a signal. Important topics related to the local graph Fourier transform (LGFT) are covered, together with its various forms including the graph spectral and vertex domain windows and the inversion conditions and relations. A link between the LGFT with spectral varying window and the spectral graph wavelet transform (SGWT) is also established. Realizations of the LGFT and SGWT using polynomial (Chebyshev) approximations of the spectral functions are further considered. Finally, energy versions of the vertex-frequency representations are introduced.

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To optimize fruit production, a portion of the flowers and fruitlets of apple trees must be removed early in the growing season. The proportion to be removed is determined by the bloom intensity, i.e., the number of flowers present in the orchard. Several automated computer vision systems have been proposed to estimate bloom intensity, but their overall performance is still far from satisfactory even in relatively controlled environments. With the goal of devising a technique for flower identification which is robust to clutter and to changes in illumination, this paper presents a method in which a pre-trained convolutional neural network is fine-tuned to become specially sensitive to flowers. Experimental results on a challenging dataset demonstrate that our method significantly outperforms three approaches that represent the state of the art in flower detection, with recall and precision rates higher than $90\%$. Moreover, a performance assessment on three additional datasets previously unseen by the network, which consist of different flower species and were acquired under different conditions, reveals that the proposed method highly surpasses baseline approaches in terms of generalization capability.

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In this work, we study recommendation systems modelled as contextual multi-armed bandit (MAB) problems. We propose a graph-based recommendation system that learns and exploits the geometry of the user space to create meaningful clusters in the user domain. This reduces the dimensionality of the recommendation problem while preserving the accuracy of MAB. We then study the effect of graph sparsity and clusters size on the MAB performance and provide exhaustive simulation results both in synthetic and in real-case datasets. Simulation results show improvements with respect to state-of-the-art MAB algorithms.

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Collecting training data from the physical world is usually time-consuming and even dangerous for fragile robots, and thus, recent advances in robot learning advocate the use of simulators as the training platform. Unfortunately, the reality gap between synthetic and real visual data prohibits direct migration of the models trained in virtual worlds to the real world. This paper proposes a modular architecture for tackling the virtual-to-real problem. The proposed architecture separates the learning model into a perception module and a control policy module, and uses semantic image segmentation as the meta representation for relating these two modules. The perception module translates the perceived RGB image to semantic image segmentation. The control policy module is implemented as a deep reinforcement learning agent, which performs actions based on the translated image segmentation. Our architecture is evaluated in an obstacle avoidance task and a target following task. Experimental results show that our architecture significantly outperforms all of the baseline methods in both virtual and real environments, and demonstrates a faster learning curve than them. We also present a detailed analysis for a variety of variant configurations, and validate the transferability of our modular architecture.

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This study considers the 3D human pose estimation problem in a single RGB image by proposing a conditional random field (CRF) model over 2D poses, in which the 3D pose is obtained as a byproduct of the inference process. The unary term of the proposed CRF model is defined based on a powerful heat-map regression network, which has been proposed for 2D human pose estimation. This study also presents a regression network for lifting the 2D pose to 3D pose and proposes the prior term based on the consistency between the estimated 3D pose and the 2D pose. To obtain the approximate solution of the proposed CRF model, the N-best strategy is adopted. The proposed inference algorithm can be viewed as sequential processes of bottom-up generation of 2D and 3D pose proposals from the input 2D image based on deep networks and top-down verification of such proposals by checking their consistencies. To evaluate the proposed method, we use two large-scale datasets: Human3.6M and HumanEva. Experimental results show that the proposed method achieves the state-of-the-art 3D human pose estimation performance.

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This paper introduces the Hawkes skeleton and the Hawkes graph. These objects summarize the branching structure of a multivariate Hawkes point process in a compact, yet meaningful way. We demonstrate how graph-theoretic vocabulary (`ancestor sets', `parent sets', `connectivity', `walks', `walk weights', ...) is very convenient for the discussion of multivariate Hawkes processes. For example, we reformulate the classic eigenvalue-based subcriticality criterion of multitype branching processes in graph terms. Next to these more terminological contributions, we show how the graph view may be used for the specification and estimation of Hawkes models from large, multitype event streams. Based on earlier work, we give a nonparametric statistical procedure to estimate the Hawkes skeleton and the Hawkes graph from data. We show how the graph estimation may then be used for specifying and fitting parametric Hawkes models. Our estimation method avoids the a priori assumptions on the model from a straighforward MLE-approach and is numerically more flexible than the latter. Our method has two tuning parameters: one controlling numerical complexity, the other one controlling the sparseness of the estimated graph. A simulation study confirms that the presented procedure works as desired. We pay special attention to computational issues in the implementation. This makes our results applicable to high-dimensional event-stream data, such as dozens of event streams and thousands of events per component.

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