“What is a Driving Test for a Self-Driving Car?”

Engineering Auditorium, Zakhem 406, Byblos campus

The School of Engineering at LAU is organizing a seminar entitled: “What is a Driving Test for a Self-Driving Car?” as part of its SOE Research Seminar Series, and presented by Postdoctoral Fellow Houssam Abbas, Ph.D, University of Pennsylvania.

An increasing number of robots are being given autonomous capabilities: autonomous cars promise a dramatic reduction in accident rates, and major retailers, like Amazon, are pushing for autonomous aerial delivery robots. In this talk, Dr. Abbas will describe the verification challenge facing autonomous agents more broadly: How does one guarantee that an autonomous car will behave correctly in certain scenarios?

Formal methods are suitable for providing such hard guarantees, but they face serious scalability challenges for continuous + discrete systems, like autonomous cars. This challenge is compounded by the fact that we don’t know what the other cars in the environment will be doing. On the other hand, simply simulating the system does not provide a guarantee of correctness under all conditions.

After providing the necessary background on formal methods and the available tools, Dr. Abbas will describe his approach to accelerate formal analysis by testing, where intelligently chosen simulations can guide the formal verification effort.