Systems Theory and Automatic Control
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Systems and Control Seminars for the winter semester 2009/2010

Analysis and Synthesis of Gene Regulatory Networks and Their Application to Morphogenetic Robotics


Yaochu Jin
Honda Research Institute Europe
Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab)
Bielefeld University
Visiting Professor
Natural Inspired Computation and Applications Laboratory (NICAL)
University of Science and Technology of China

Time and Place

The presentation will be given on January 26, 2010 at 5 p.m. in the FEIT faculty room 211, building 09.

Followed by a brief introduction to computational models of gene regulatory networks (GRN), this talk first presents our recent results on analyzing and synthesizing gene regulatory motifs, particularly from the robustness and evolvability perspective. We show that in a feedforward Boolean network, the trade-off between robustness and evolvability cannot be resolved. In contrast, this trade-off can be resolved in an ODE-based GRN model for cellular growth. In addition, we demonstrate that robust GRN motifs can emerge from in silico evolution without an explicit selection pressure on robustness. Our results also suggest that evolvability is evolvable without an explicit selection pressure.

In the second part of the talk, we touch upon morphogenetic robotics, which is a new emerging field in developmental robotics that deals with the self-organization, self-reconfiguration and self-adaptive control using genetic and cellular mechanisms governing the biological morphogenesis. We will illustrate how GRN models can be used for self-organizing swarm robotic systems for flexible and robust shape formation and boundary coverage. In a second example, we will present a GRN model has also been developed for self-reconfigure modular robots to autonomously adapt to environmental changes.

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Information about the Speaker

Yaochu Jin (M'98-SM'02) received the B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees, all in automatic control from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, in 1988, 1991, and 1996, respectively, and the Dr.-Ing. Degree from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany, in 2001.

Dr. Jin is currently a Principal Scientist with the Honda Research Institute Europe, Offenbach, Germany, Subject Coordinator, Research Institute for Robotics and Cognition (CoR-Lab), Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany, and Visiting Professor, NICAL, Chinese University of Science and Technology, Hefei, China. His research interests include computational approaches to understanding evolution, learning and development in biology, and biological approaches to complex systems design. He has (co)edited three books and three conference proceedings, authored a monograph, and (co)authored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers.

Dr. Jin is currently an Associate Editor of BioSystems, the IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C: Applications and Reviews, and the IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine. He is also an editorial board member of Soft Computing and Memetic Computing. He is a member of "Evolutionary Computation Technical Committee" and "Emergent Technologies Technical Committee", Chair of the Continuing Education Subcommittee, and Task Force on "Evolutionary Computation in Dynamic and Uncertain Environments". He is the Tutorial / Workshop Co-Chair of the 2010 IEEE Evolutionary Computation Congress in Barcelona, was the Tutorial Chair of the 2007 Evolutionary Computation Congress in Singapore, Program Co-Chair of the 2007 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence in Multi-Criteria Decision-Making in Honolulu, and Program Chair of the 2005 International Conference on Fuzzy Systems and Knowledge Discovery in Changsha. Dr. Jin is an invited Keynote Speaker on three international conferences and an invited panelist of plenary panel discussion on three international conferences. He is a Senior Member of IEEE.

Position Statement
As a member of IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, it has been my great pleasure to serve the society members by actively organizing society's conference events, participating in society's technical activities, and coordinating paper reviews or reviewing papers for journals of the IEEE CIS. I am eager to contribute more to the society by strengthening collaborations between academia and industry in emerging and interdisciplinary research areas for technological innovation, and further promoting the society's activities in rapidly developing regions, if I am elected to be an AdCom member.

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