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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. he Simplex Architecture is a runtime assurance framework where control authority may switch from an unverified and potentially unsafe advanced controller to a backup baseline controller in order to maintain the safety of an autonomous cyber-physical system. In this work, we show that runtime checks can replace the requirement to statically verify safety of the baseline controller. This is important as there are many powerful control techniques, such as model-predictive control and neural network controllers, that work well in practice but are difficult to statically verify. Since the method does not use internal information about the advanced or baseline controller,more »we call the approach the Black-Box Simplex Architecture. We prove the architecture is safe and present two case studies where (i) model-predictive control provides safe multi-robot coordination, and (ii) neural networks provably prevent collisions in groups of F-16 aircraft, despite the controllers occasionally outputting unsafe commands.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 20, 2023
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  6. Abstract Direct tests of gene function have historically been performed in a limited number of model organisms. The CRISPR/Cas system is species-agnostic, offering the ability to manipulate genes in a range of models, enabling insights into evolution, development, and physiology. Astatotilapia burtoni , a cichlid fish from the rivers and shoreline around Lake Tanganyika, has been extensively studied in the laboratory to understand evolution and the neural control of behavior. Here we develop protocols for the creation of CRISPR-edited cichlids and create a broadly useful mutant line. By manipulating the Tyrosinase gene, which is necessary for eumelanin pigment production, wemore »describe a fast and reliable approach to quantify and optimize gene editing efficiency. Tyrosinase mutants also remove a major obstruction to imaging, enabling visualization of subdermal structures and fluorophores in situ. These protocols will facilitate broad application of CRISPR/Cas9 to studies of cichlids as well as other non-traditional model aquatic species.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  7. We present the Distributed Simplex Architecture (DSA), a new runtime assurance technique that provides safety guarantees for multi-agent systems (MASs). DSA is inspired by the Simplex control architecture of Sha et al., but with some significant differences. The traditional Simplex approach is limited to single-agent systems or a MAS with a centralized control scheme. DSA addresses this limitation by extending the scope of Simplex to include MASs under distributed control. In DSA, each agent runs a local instance of traditional Simplex such that the preservation of safety in the local instances implies safety for the entire MAS. Control Barrier Functionsmore »play a critical role. They are used to define DSA’s core components (the baseline controller and the decision module’s switching logic between advanced and baseline controllers) and to verify the safety of a DSA instance in a distributed manner. We provide a general proof of safety for DSA, and present experimental results for several case studies, including flocking with collision avoidance, safe navigation of ground rovers through way-points, and the safe operation of a microgrid.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 18, 2022
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