Alumnus earns best conference paper award

Xuan Wang, a former Ph.D. student of Shaoshuai Mou, was the lead author on the 2021 Industrial Cyber-Physical Systems Best Conference Paper.

AAE alumnus Xuan Wang was the lead author on the award-winning 2021 Industrial Cyber-Physical Systems Best Conference Paper at the 2021 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on Industrial Cyber-Physical Systems.

The paper, “Distributed Algorithm with Resilience for Multi-Agent Task Allocation,” was part of Wang’s Ph.D. dissertation, which was supported by the Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship at Purdue University. Wang obtained his doctorate from AAE in August 2020. His Ph.D. advisor was Shaoshuai Mou, an assistant professor in AAE.

Xuan Wang
Xuan Wang

The paper developed an Iterated Auction Consensus Algorithm (IACA) for resilient task allocation on a distributed multi-agent platform. The IACA enables each agent in the network to bid for tasks of interest at the auction stage and then utilizes the idea of consensus to resolve conflicts among agents' bids. The major advantages of the IACA are simplicity of implementation without requiring complicated decision logic and resilience, Wang said. When there are malicious agents trying to block the normal agents' bids by giving infinitely large bids to all tasks, IACA is able to recover immediately after the removal of malicious agents.

“The proposed algorithm can be used to achieve resilient distributed task allocation in multi-robot systems. More generally, it provides a new method for swarms of autonomous agents (including UAVs, UGVs) to perform resilient distributed coordination in hostile and dynamic environments,” Wang said.

“The ICPS is an excellent conference that offers opportunities for researchers to exchange their ideas. Winning this award is a great honor and a significant booster for my career.”

While at Purdue, Wang was a recipient of the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Research Award, given to graduate students for demonstrating excellence and leadership in research through publications, participation in professional organizations and willingness to mentor others. He will start a faculty position in August in the ECE department at George Mason University.

Mou and Jeffrey Hudack were contributing authors on the winning paper. The research problem was formulated during Mou’s faculty summer fellowship at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y., where he worked with Hudack, senior scientist and program manager at the facility.