Kim Engineering Building, Lecture Hall, Rm. 1110
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301 405 4471
Booz Allen Hamilton Distinguished Colloquium in Electrical and Computer Engineering
"Social Feedback and Decision Dynamics in Natural and Engineered Groups"
Prof. Naomi Leonard
Edwin S. Wilsey Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University
Social feedback plays a critical role in animal and human decision-making dynamics; it likewise provides inspiration for feedback design in multi-agent robotic systems and mixed teams of humans and robots. Social interactions in bird flocks and fish schools are credited with improving group responsiveness to external environmental stimuli and with maintaining group cohesiveness in the presence of uncertainty. On the other hand, in recent human behavioral experiments, it has been observed that social feedback can negatively impact performance in certain types of decision-making tasks. I will present methodology derived to assess the influence of social feedback, and the topology of the interconnections, on decision-making dynamics in two contexts: 1) robustness of consensus decision making and 2) accuracy in tasks that require choosing between two alternatives. I will describe application to observational data of animal groups as part of an effort to identify underlying mechanisms of robust behavior. I will also discuss exploration of the role of social feedback in a human decision-making model that has been fitted to data from human experiments with two-alternative choice tasks in a social context.
Naomi Ehrich Leonard is the Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and associated faculty member of the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University. Her research is in nonlinear control and dynamics with current interests in coordinated control for multi-agent systems, mobile sensor networks, adaptive ocean sampling, collective behavior in animal groups and decision dynamics in mixed human/robot teams. She received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2004 and the Mohammed Dahleh Award from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2005. In 2007, she became an IEEE Fellow. She received the B.S.E. degree from Princeton University in 1985 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Maryland in 1991 and 1994. From 1985 to 1989, she worked as an engineer in the electric power industry.
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