Guest lecture by Simon Haykin: Cognitive Risk Control

Prof. Simon Haykin from McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada will be visiting the SPSC lab. He will deliver a guest lecture entitled "Cognitive Risk Control". 


The Cognitive Dynamic System (CDS) has established itself as the basis for a new generation of Intelligent Machines inspired by the brain, and with varying applications: Radar, Control, and Radio. The underlying principles of this new way of thinking naturally involve Cognitive Neuroscience, Bayesian dynamics, and to a lesser extent, Bellman’s dynamic programming.

As the title of the lecture would imply, the primary objective is how to control risk, which has been broadly discussed in the literature; but, regrettably, we do not have a rigorous procedure for how to deal with it.

Here are the issues that will be discussed in the lecture:

  1. Perceptor: The Bayesian model for environmental observables – reciprocally coupled with the Bayesian filter – provides an optimal basis for state estimation.

  2. Feedback channel: It lies at the heart of the CDS for linking the executive to the perceptor.

  3. Executive: The cognitive reinforcement learning algorithm – reciprocally coupled to the predictive pre-adaptive sub-system of the executive – provides an optimal procedure for risk control and therefore cognitive action on the environment in a methodical manner for the first time ever.

The lecture is finished by highlighting the vision for next five years, focused on two challenging research topics:

  • The Bayesian dynamics of hierarchical CDS for reducing unexpected uncertainties down to a precision level, such that it can be ignored for all practical purposes

  • The CDS employed as the “brain” of complex dynamic networks in a pioneering manner

Brief Biography

Simon Haykin received his B.Sc., Ph.D., and D.Sc. all in Electrical Engineering from the University of Birmingham, England; subsequently, he spent a good number of years in industry, then moved into the world of academe in England, and finally, he joined the ECE Department, McMaster University, Canada, where he is currently a Distinguished University Professor.

For the early years after graduation, his research program was focused on Adaptive Signal Processing for radar and radio. Then, he spent more of his time on Neural Networks and Learning Machines, which paved the way to focus his entire research program on the CDS with pioneering applications in radar, control, and radio. Needless to say, this new way of thinking has become his research passion.

Professor Haykin is a Fellow of the IEEE, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and the recipient of Honorary Doctorate of Technology from ETH, Zurich, Switzerland. He is also a recipient of many medals from within Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Date with Time
9. November 2015 - 10:00 - 11:15
Lecture Hall i11, Inffeldgasse 16b, basement