Gabriele Valentini


Postdoctoral Research Associate
Beyond Center
Arizona State University

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About me


Me

I'm a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, Arizona State University. I'm affiliated with the School of Earth and Space Exploration but you will normally find me in the School of Life Sciences at the Social Insect Research Group. Here at ASU, I'm studying information processes that originate when colonies of ants Temnothorax Rugatulus make collective decisions. My studies are supervised by Prof. Sara Walker, Prof. Ted Pavlic, and Prof. Stephen Pratt.

Computer Engineer by formation, I've a background in artificial intelligence and robotics with a focus on agent-based modeling. I received a PhD in Sciences of Technologies and Engineering at Université Libre de Bruxelles (2016) under the supervision of Prof. Marco Dorigo and Prof. Heiko Hamann, and MSc (cum laude) and BSc degrees in Engineering of Computing Systems at Politecnico di Milano (2011 and 2008).

My research interests span over scientific disciplines as diverse as Robotics, Biology, and Physics. I focus on the study of self-organized collective decision-making processes both in living and artificial collectives. So far, most of my studies concentrated on the design of control strategies for robot swarms while, more recently, I broaden my focus to the study of collective decisions in ant colonies. My studies aim at deriving general principles distinguishing life from non-life, deepen our understanding of biological systems, and advance the design of artificial ones.


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Collective decisions in robot swarms


This project focuses on the design and mathematical analysis of collective decision-making strategies for swarms of autonomous robots. In a robot swarm, the cognitive abilities of individual robots may prove too limited with respect to the complexity of the problem at hand; yet, by cooperating with each other, the robots in a swarm can overcome their cognitive limitations by aggregating information at the collective level obtaining superior collective decisions. In this project, we investigate the development of a modular and model-driven methodology to design collective decision-making strategies for the best-of-n problem, that is, the problem of finding the best among a finite set of options. We put forward a methodology supported by a macroscopic mathematical framework that allows designers to study the dynamics of a swarm across different levels of abstraction: from mean field approximations that allow for the study of the asymptotic properties of a strategies, to stochastic mathematical models that account for finite-size effects in swarms with finite number of robots.

The Kilogrid project


Me

The Kilogrid is an open-hardware virtualization environment and data logging manager for the Kilobot robot. The Kilogrid is designed to extend the sensory-motor abilities of the Kilobot robot, to simplify the task of collecting data during experiments, and to provide researchers with a tool to fine-control the parameters of the experimental setup. Based on the design of the Kilobot robot and compatible with existing hardware, the Kilogrid is a modular system composed of a grid of computing nodes, or modules, that provides a bidirectional communication channel between the Kilobots and a remote workstation. In the videos below, two demo experiments show the implementation of virtual sensors, virtual actuators, and data logging.

Publications


Selected

Collective Decision with 100 Kilobots: Speed Versus Accuracy in Binary Discrimination Problems.

The Best-of-n Problem in Robot Swarms: Formalization, State of the Art, and Novel Perspectives.

Kilogrid: a Modular Virtualization Environment for the Kilobot Robot.

Population Coding: A New Design Paradigm for Embodied Distributed Systems.


Books

  • G. Valentini
    Achieving Consensus in Robot Swarms
    Design and Analysis of Strategies for the best-of-n Problem
    Studies in Computational Intelligence, Volume 706, Springer , 2017

Journals

  • J6  Y. Khaluf, C. Pinciroli, G. Valentini, H. Hamann. The Impact of Agent Density on Scalability in Collective Systems: Noise-Induced vs Majority-Based Bistability. Swarm Intelligence, 11(2):155–179, 2017   IF: 3.115
    @article{KhaPinValHam2017,
      author     = {Yara Khaluf and Carlo Pinciroli and Gabriele Valentini and Heiko Hamann},
      title      = {The Impact of Agent Density on Scalability in Collective Systems: 
                    Noise-Induced vs Majority-Based Bistability},
      year       = {2017},
      journal    = {Swarm Intelligence},
      volume     = {11},
      number     = {2},
      issn       = {1935-3820},
      doi        = {10.1007/s11721-017-0137-6},
      url        = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11721-017-0137-6},
      pages      = {155--179}
    }
  • J5  G. Valentini, E. Ferrante, M. Dorigo. The Best-of-n Problem in Robot Swarms: Formalization, State of the Art, and Novel Perspectives. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 4:9, 2017  
    @article{ValFerDor2017,
      author     = {Gabriele Valentini and Eliseo Ferrante and Marco Dorigo},
      title      = {The Best-of-\emph{n} Problem in Robot Swarms: {F}ormalization, 
                    State of the Art, and Novel Perspectives},
      year       = {2017},
      journal    = {Frontiers in Robotics and AI},
      volume     = {4},
      issn       = {2296-9144},
      doi        = {10.3389/frobt.2017.00009},
      url        = {http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frobt.2017.00009},
      pages      = {9}
    }
  • J4  G. Valentini, E. Ferrante, H. Hamann, M. Dorigo. Collective Decision with 100 Kilobots: Speed Versus Accuracy in Binary Discrimination Problems. Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, 30(3):553–580, 2016   IF: 1.417
    @article{ValFerHamDor2016,
      author     = {Gabriele Valentini and Eliseo Ferrante and 
                    Heiko Hamann and Marco Dorigo},
      title      = {Collective decision with 100 {K}ilobots: {S}peed 
                    versus accuracy in binary discrimination problems},
      year       = {2016},
      journal    = {Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems},
      publisher  = {Springer},
      volume     = {30},
      number     = {3},
      issn       = {1573-7454},
      doi        = {10.1007/s10458-015-9323-3},
      url        = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10458-015-9323-3},
      pages      = {553--580}
    }
  • J3  A. Reina, G. Valentini, C. Fernández-Oto, M. Dorigo, V. Trianni. A Design Pattern for Decentralized Decision Making. PLOS ONE, 10(10):e0140950, 2015   IF: 3.234
    @article{ReiValFerDorTri2015,
      author    = {Reina, Andreagiovanni AND Valentini, Gabriele AND Fern\'andez-Oto, Cristian AND Dorigo, Marco AND Trianni, Vito},
      journal   = {PLoS ONE},
      publisher = {Public Library of Science},
      title     = {A Design Pattern for Decentralised Decision Making},
      year      = {2015},
      month     = {10},
      volume    = {10},
      url       = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0140950},
      pages     = {e0140950},
      number    = {10},
      doi       = {10.1371/journal.pone.0140950}
    }
  • J2  G. Valentini, H. Hamann. Time-Variant Feedback Processes in Collective Decision-Making Systems: Influence and Effect of Dynamic Neighborhood Sizes. Swarm Intelligence, 8(2–3):153–176, 2015   IF: 2.160
    @article{ValHam2015,
      year      = {2015},
      issn      = {1935-3812},
      journal   = {Swarm Intelligence},
      doi       = {10.1007/s11721-015-0108-8},
      title     = {Time-variant feedback processes in collective decision-making systems: 
                   influence and effect of dynamic neighborhood sizes},
      url       = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11721-015-0108-8},
      publisher = {Springer},
      keywords  = {Swarm system; Feedbacks; Opinion dynamics; Renormalization group; Graph theory},
      author    = {Valentini, Gabriele and Hamann, Heiko},
      volume    = {8},
      number    = {2--3},
      pages     = {153--176}
    }
  • J1  N. Mathews, G. Valentini, A. L. Christensen, R. O'Grady, A. Brutschy, M. Dorigo. Spatially Targeted Communication in Decentralized Multirobot Systems. Autonomous Robots, 38(4):439–457, 2015   IF: 2.066
    @article{MatValChrOGrBruDor2015,
      year      = {2015},
      issn      = {0929-5593},
      journal   = {Autonomous Robots},
      doi       = {10.1007/s10514-015-9423-6},
      title     = {Spatially targeted communication in decentralized multirobot systems},
      url       = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10514-015-9423-6},
      publisher = {Springer},
      keywords  = {Decentralized multirobot systems; Robot swarms; 
                   Air-ground robot teams; Spatial coordination; 
                   Inter-robot communication},
      author    = {Mathews, Nithin and Valentini, Gabriele and Christensen, Anders Lyhne 
                   and O’Grady, Rehan and Brutschy, Arne and Dorigo, Marco},
      volume    = {38},
      number    = {4},
      pages     = {439--457}
    }

Conferences

  • C12  D.G. Moore, G. Valentini, S.I. Walker, M. Levin. Inform: A Toolkit for Information-Theoretic Analysis of Complex Systems. In Proceedings of the 2017 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, Symposium on Artificial Life, pag. xxx–yyy, IEEE Press, 2017 (in press)  
    @article{MorValWalLev2017,
      author    = {D.G. Moore and G. Valentini and S.I. Walker and M. Levin},
      booktitle = {2017 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, Symposium on Artificial Life},
      pages     = {},
      publisher = {IEEE Press},
      title     = {Inform: A Toolkit for Information-Theoretic Analysis of Complex Systems},
      year      = {2017}
    }
  • C11  A. Antoun, G. Valentini, E. Hocquard, B. Wiandt, V. Trianni, M. Dorigo. Kilogrid: a Modular Virtualization Environment for the Kilobot Robot. In Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems IROS 2016, pag. 3809–3814, IEEE Press, 2016   AR: 48%
    @article{AntValHocWiaTriDor2016,
      author    = {A. Antoun and G. Valentini and E. Hocquard and B. Wiandt and V. Trianni and M. Dorigo},
      booktitle = {2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)},
      pages     = {3809--3814},
      publisher = {IEEE Press},
      title     = {Kilogrid: a Modular Virtualization Environment for the Kilobot Robot},
      year      = {2016}
    }
  • C10  H. Hamann, G. Valentini, M. Dorigo. Population Coding: A New Design Paradigm for Embodied Distributed Systems. Swarm Intelligence, Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Swarm Intelligence ANTS 2016, vol. 9882 of LNCS, pag. 173–184, Springer, 2016  
    @article{HamValDor2016,
      author      = {Heiko Hamann and Gabriele Valentini and Marco Dorigo},
      title       = {Population Coding: A New Design Paradigm for Embodied Distributed Systems},
      year        = {2016},
      booktitle   = {Swarm Intelligence},
      pages       = {173--184},
      editor      = {Marco Dorigo and Mauro Birattari and Xiaodong Li and Manuel {L\'opez-Ib\'a\~nez} and Kazuhiro Ohkura and Carlo Pinciroli and Thomas St\"utzle},
      series      = {LNCS},
      volume      = {9882},
      publisher   = {Springer}
    }
  • C9  G. Valentini, D. Brambilla, H. Hamann, M. Dorigo. Collective Perception of Environmental Features in a Robot Swarm. Swarm Intelligence, Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Swarm Intelligence ANTS 2016, vol. 9882 of LNCS, pag. 65–76, Springer, 2016  
    @article{ValBraHamDor2016,
      author      = {Gabriele Valentini and Davide Brambilla and 
                     Heiko Hamann and Marco Dorigo},
      title       = {Collective Perception of Environmental Features in a Robot Swarm},
      year        = {2016},
      booktitle   = {Swarm Intelligence},
      pages       = {65--76},
      editor      = {Marco Dorigo and Mauro Birattari and Xiaodong Li and Manuel {L\'opez-Ib\'a\~nez} and Kazuhiro Ohkura and Carlo Pinciroli and Thomas St\"utzle},
      series      = {LNCS},
      volume      = {9882},
      publisher   = {Springer}   
    }
  • C8  G. Valentini, H. Hamann, M. Dorigo. Efficient Decision-Making in a Self-Organizing Robot Swarm: On the Speed Versus Accuracy Trade-Off. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems AAMAS 2015, pag. 1305–1314, IFAAMAS, 2015   AR: 24.9% Best Paper Nomination
    @article{ValHamDor2015b,
      author      = {Gabriele Valentini and Heiko Hamann and Marco Dorigo},
      title       = {Efficient Decision-Making in a Self-Organizing Robot Swarm:
                     On the Speed Versus Accuracy Trade-Off},
      key         = {collective decision making, majority rule, consensus, 
                     swarm intelligence, swarm robotics, self-organization, 
                     modeling},
      booktitle   = {Proceedings of the 14th Int. Conf. on Autonomous Agents
                     and Multiagent Systems},
      pages       = {1305--1314},
      year        = {2015},
      editor      = {Bordini, Elkind, Weiss, Yolum},
      series      = {AAMAS '15},
      publisher   = {IFAAMAS},
    }
  • C7  H. Hamann, G. Valentini, Y. Khaluf, M. Dorigo. Derivation of a Micro-Macro Link for Collective Decision-Making Systems: Uncover Network Features Based on Drift Measurements. In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Parallel Problem Solving from Nature PPSN XIII, vol. 8672 of LNCS, pag. 181–190, Springer, 2014   AR: 41%
    @article{HamValKalDor2014,
      year       = {2014},
      isbn       = {978-3-319-10761-5},
      booktitle  = {Parallel Problem Solving from Nature -- PPSN XIII},
      volume     = {8672},
      series     = {LNCS},
      editor     = {Bartz-Beielstein, Thomas and Branke, J\"urgen and Filipi\v{c}, Bogdan and Smith, Jim},
      doi        = {10.1007/978-3-319-10762-2_18},
      title      = {Derivation of a Micro-Macro Link for Collective Decision-Making Systems: 
                    Uncover Network Features Based on Drift Measurements},
      url        = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-10762-2_18},
      publisher  = {Springer},
      author     = {Hamann, Heiko and Valentini, Gabriele and Khaluf, Yara and 
                    Dorigo, Marco},
      pages      = {181-190},
    }
  • C6  H. Hamann, G. Valentini. Swarm in a Fly Bottle: Feedback-Based Analysis of Self-Organizing Temporary Lock-Ins. Swarm Intelligence, Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Swarm Intelligence ANTS 2014, vol. 8667 of LNCS, pag. 170–181, Springer, 2014   AR: 30.9% Best Paper Nomination
    @article{HamVal2014,
      year       = {2014},
      isbn       = {978-3-319-09951-4},
      booktitle  = {Swarm Intelligence},
      volume     = {8667},
      series     = {LNCS},
      editor     = {Dorigo, Marco and Birattari, Mauro and Garnier, Simon and 
                    Hamann, Heiko and Montes de Oca, Marco and Solnon, Christine and 
                    St\"utzle, Thomas},
      doi        = {10.1007/978-3-319-09952-1_15},
      title      = {Swarm in a Fly Bottle: Feedback-Based Analysis of 
                    Self-organizing Temporary Lock-ins},
      url        = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-09952-1_15},
      publisher  = {Springer},
      author     = {Hamann, Heiko and Valentini, Gabriele},
      pages      = {170-181},
    }
  • C5  G. Valentini, H. Hamann, M. Dorigo. Self-Organized Collective Decision Making: The Weighted Voter Model. In Proceedings of 13th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems AAMAS 2014, pag. 45–52, IFAAMAS, 2014   AR: 23.8%
    @article{ValHamDor2014,
      author      = {Gabriele Valentini and Heiko Hamann and Marco Dorigo},
      title       = {Self-Organized Collective Decision Making: 
                     The Weighted Voter Model},
      key         = {collective decision making, voter model, consensus, 
                     swarm intelligence, swarm robotics, self-organization, 
                     modeling},
      booktitle   = {Proceedings of the 13th Int. Conf. on Autonomous Agents
                     and Multiagent Systems},
      pages       = {45--52},
      year        = {2014},
      editor      = {Alessio Lomuscio and Paul Scerri and Ana Bazzan and
                     Michael Huhns},
      series      = {AAMAS '14},
      publisher   = {IFAAMAS},
    }
  • C4  G. Valentini, M. Birattari, M. Dorigo. Majority Rule with Differential Latency: An Absorbing Markov Chain to Model Consensus. In Proceedings of the European Conference on Complex Systems ECCS 2012, Springer Proceedings in Complexity, pag. 651–658, Springer, 2013  
    @article{ValBirDor2013,
      year        = {2013},
      isbn        = {978-3-319-00394-8},
      booktitle   = {Proceedings of the European Conference on Complex
                     Systems 2012},
      series      = {Springer Proceedings in Complexity},
      editor      = {Gilbert, Thomas and Kirkilionis, Markus and 
                     Nicolis, Gregoire},
      doi         = {10.1007/978-3-319-00395-5_79},
      title       = {Majority Rule with Differential Latency: 
                     An Absorbing {M}arkov Chain to Model Consensus},
      url         = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-00395-5_79},
      publisher   = {Springer},
      author      = {Valentini, Gabriele and Birattari, Mauro and 
                     Dorigo, Marco},
      pages       = {651-658}
    }
  • C3  G. Valentini, L. Malagò, M. Matteucci. Optimization by ℓ1-Constrained Markov Fitness Modelling. Learning and Intelligent Optimization (LION6), vol. 7219 of LNCS, pag. 250–264, Springer, 2012   AR: 33%
    @article{ValMalMat2012,
      title        = {{Optimization by $\ell_{1}$-Constrained a Markov Fitness Modelling}},
      author       = {Valentini, Gabriele and Malag\`{o}, Luigi and Matteucci, Matteo},
      booktitle    = {Learning and Intelligent Optimization},
      series       = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
      editor       = {Hamadi, Youssef and Schoenauer, Marc},
      publisher    = {Springer},
      isbn         = {978-3-642-34412-1},
      pages        = {250-264},
      volume       = {7219},
      url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-34413-8_18},
      year         = {2012}
    }
  • C2  L. Malagò, M. Matteucci, G. Valentini. Introducing ℓ1-regularized Logistic Regression in Markov Networks based EDAs. In Proceedings of the IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC 2011), pag. 1581–1588, IEEE Press, 2011  
    @article{MalValMat2011,
      title        = {{Introducing $\ell_{1}$-regularized logistic regression in Markov Networks based EDAs}},
      author       = {Malag\`{o}, L. and Matteucci, M. and Valentini, G.},
      booktitle    = {Proceedings of the IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, CEC 2011},
      pages        = {1581--1588},
      year         = {2011},
      organization = {IEEE Press}
    }
  • C1  G. Valentini, L. Malagò, M. Matteucci. Evoptool: an Extensible Toolkit for Evolutionary Optimization Algorithms Comparison. In Proceedings of the IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence, Congress on Evolutionary Computation (WCCI-CEC 2010), pag. 2475–1482, IEEE Press, 2010  
    @article{ValMalMat2010,
      title        = {{Evoptool: an extensible toolkit for evolutionary optimization algorithms comparison}},
      author       = {Valentini, G. and Malag\`{o}, L. and Matteucci, M.},
      booktitle    = {Proceedings of the IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, CEC 2010},
      pages        = {2475--2482},
      year         = {2010},
      organization = {IEEE Press}
    }

Workshops

  • W5  A. Reina, G. Valentini, C. Fernández-Oto, M. Dorigo, V. Trianni. A Design Pattern for Best-of-n Collective Decisions. In 3rd Workshop on Biological Distributed Algorithms BDA 2015, 2015  
  • W4  G. Valentini, H. Hamann, M. Dorigo. Self-Organized Collective Decisions in a Robot Swarm. In Video Proceedings of the 9th AAAI Video Competition AAAI 2015, AAAI Press, 2015   Best Student Video Award
  • W3  G. Valentini, H. Hamann, M. Dorigo. Self-Organized Collective Decision-Making in a 100-Robot Swarm. In Proceedings of the 29th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence AAAI 2015, Student Abstract, pag. 4216–4217, AAAI Press, 2015  
    @article{ValHamDor2015a,
      author      = {Gabriele Valentini and Heiko Hamann and Marco Dorigo},
      title       = {Self-Organized Collective Decision-Making in a 100-Robot Swarm},
      key         = {collective decision making, majority rule, consensus, 
                     swarm intelligence, swarm robotics, self-organization, 
                     modeling},
      pages       = {4216--4217},
      conference  = {AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence},
      year        = {2015},
      publisher   = {AAAI Press}
    }
  • W2  H. Hamann, G. Valentini. Micro-Macro Links for Self-Organizing Collective Systems: From Local State Transition Rules to Global Transition Probabilities and Back. In Seventh International Workshop on Guided Self-Organization GSO 2014, 2014  
  • W1  G. Valentini. Self-Organized Collective Decision-Making in Swarms of Autonomous Robots. In Proceedings of 13th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems AAMAS 2014, Doctoral Symposium, pag. 1703–1704, IFAAMAS, 2014  
    @article{Val2014,
      author      = {Gabriele Valentini},
      title       = {Self-Organized Collective Decision-Making in Swarms
                     of Autonomous Robots},
      key         = {collective decisions, swarm intelligence,
                    self-organization},
      booktitle   = {Proceedings of the 13th Int. Conf. on Autonomous Agents
                     and Multiagent Systems},
      pages       = {1703--1704},
      year        = {2014},
      editor      = {Alessio Lomuscio and Paul Scerri and Ana Bazzan and
                     Michael Huhns},
      series      = {AAMAS '14},
      publisher   = {International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and 
                     Multiagent Systems},
      location    = {Paris, France},
      annote      = {Doctoral Symposium}
    }

Technical Reports

  • T1  G. Valentini, H. Hamann, M. Dorigo. Global-to-Local Design for Self-Organized Task Allocation in Swarms. IRIDIA Technical Report Series, TR/IRIDIA2016-002r001, 2016  

Statistics


Awards and nominations

  • 2016 EurAI Artificial Intelligence Distinguished Dissertation Award
  • 2015 AAAI Best Student Video Award
  • Nominated for the 2015 AAMAS Best Paper Award
  • Nominated for the 2014 ANTS Best Paper Award

Contacts


gvalentini@asu.edu

Beyond Center
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ-85287
PO Box 85287-0506

Building ISTB1
Office 391B

gabriele.valentini.85