Brain Architecture IQR/DAC. Riccardo Zucca

Monday, 31 August, 2015 - 15:30 to 17:30
This tutorial introduces the Distributed Adaptive Control (DAC), a theory of the design principles underlying the Mind, Brain, Body Nexus (MBBN) that has been developed over the last 20 years. DAC assumes that the brain maintains stability between an embodied agent, its internal state and its environment through action. It postulates that in order to act, or know how, the brain has to answer 5 fundamental questions: who, why, what, where, when. Thus the function of the brain is to continuously solve the so-called H5W problem with ‘H’ standing for the ‘How’ an agent acts in the world. The DAC theory is expressed as a neural-based architecture implemented in robots and organized in two complementary structures: layers and columns. The organizational layers are called: reactive, adaptive 
and contextual, and its columnar organization defines the processing of states of the world, the self and the generation of action. After an overview of the key elements of DAC, the mapping of its key assumptions towards the invertebrate and mammalian brain is described. The general overview of DAC’s explanation of MBBN is combined with examples of application scenarios in which DAC has been validated, including mobile and humanoid robots, neuro-rehabilitation and the large-scale interactive space Ada. In this tutorial we will provide the elements necessary to implement an autonomous control system based on the DAC architecture and we will explore how the different layers of DAC contribute to solve a foraging task.