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with additional support from the Analytics Group of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Northwestern Mutual

Some tools for studying big state spaces

Ryan Budney, Prof., University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Date and Time: Feb 11, 2015 (12:30 PM)
Location: Orchard room (3280) at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery Building


In motion planning, one often encounters high-dimensional state spaces that describe the configuration of things, be it the state of a robot(s), the planning necessary to autonomously drive a car or fly a drone. Many times these state spaces are difficult to come to terms with. There are however some powerful tools from topology for dealing very effectively with certain state-space "primitives". These are some infinite-dimensional state spaces relevant to living in a 3-dimensional world. I will describe some tools and methods for navigating through the space of all ways one can knot certain types of rope.