News & Events

16 News items, Awards, Events or Talks found.



Learn about the MERL Seminar Series.



  •  NEWS    MERL researchers win ASME Energy Systems Technical Committee Best Paper Award at 2022 American Control Conference
    Date: June 8, 2022
    Where: 2022 American Control Conference
    MERL Contacts: Ankush Chakrabarty; Christopher R. Laughman
    Research Areas: Control, Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling, Optimization
    Brief
    • Researchers from EPFL (Wenjie Xu, Colin Jones) and EMPA (Bratislav Svetozarevic), in collaboration with MERL researchers Ankush Chakrabarty and Chris Laughman, recently won the ASME Energy Systems Technical Committee Best Paper Award at the 2022 American Control Conference for their work on "VABO: Violation-Aware Bayesian Optimization for Closed-Loop Performance Optimization with Unmodeled Constraints" out of 19 nominations and 3 finalists. The paper describes a data-driven framework for optimizing the performance of constrained control systems by systematically re-evaluating how cautiously/aggressively one should explore the search space to avoid sustained, large-magnitude constraint violations while tolerating small violations, and demonstrates these methods on a physics-based model of a vapor compression cycle.
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  •  TALK    [MERL Seminar Series 2022] Albert Benveniste, Benoît Caillaud, and Mathias Malandain present talk titled Exact Structural Analysis of Multimode Modelica Models
    Date & Time: Tuesday, April 5, 2022; 11:00 AM EDT
    Speaker: Albert Benveniste, Benoît Caillaud, and Mathias Malandain, Inria
    MERL Host: Scott A. Bortoff
    Research Areas: Dynamical Systems, Multi-Physical Modeling
    Abstract
    • Since its 3.3 release, Modelica offers the possibility to specify models of dynamical systems with multiple modes having different DAE-based dynamics. However, the handling of such models by the current Modelica tools is not satisfactory, with mathematically sound models yielding exceptions at runtime. In our introduction, will briefly explain why and when the approximate structural analysis implemented in current Modelica tools leads to such errors. Then we will present our multimode Pryce Sigma-method for index reduction, in which the mode-dependent Sigma-matrix is represented in a dual form, by attaching, to every valuation of the sigma_ij entry of the Sigma matrix, the predicate characterizing the set of modes in which sigma_ij takes this value. We will illustrate this multimode analysis on example, by using our IsamDAE tool. In a second part, we will complement this multimode DAE structural analysis by a new structural analysis of mode changes (and, more generally, transient modes holding for zero time). Also, mode changes often give raise to impulsive behaviors: we will present a compile-time analysis identifying such behaviors. Our structural analysis of mode changes deeply relies on nonstandard analysis, which is a mathematical framework in which infinitesimals and infinities are first class citizens.
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  •  TALK    [MERL Seminar Series 2022] Analog CMOS Computing Chips for Fast and Energy-Efficient Solution of PDE Systems
    Date & Time: Tuesday, March 15, 2022; 1:00 PM EDT
    Speaker: Arjuna Madanayake, Florida International University
    MERL Host: Rui Ma
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Multi-Physical Modeling
    Abstract
    • Analog computers are making a comeback. In fact, they are taking the world by storm. After decades of “analog computing winter” that followed the invention of the digital computing paradigm in the 1940s, classical physics-based analog computers are being reconsidered for improving the computational throughput of demanding applications. The research is driven by exponential growth in transistor densities and bandwidths in the integrated circuits world, which in turn, has led to new possibilities for the creative circuit designer. Fast analog chips not only furnish communication/radar front-ends, but can also be used to accelerate mathematical operations. Most analog computer today focus on AI and machine learning. E.g., analog in-memory computing plays an exciting role in AI acceleration because linear algebra operations can be mapped efficiently to compute in memory. However, many scientific computing tasks are built on linear and non-linear partial differential equations (PDEs) that require recursive numerical PDE solution across spatial and temporal dimensions. The adoption of analog parallel processors that are built around speed vs power efficiency vs precision trade-offs available from circuitry for PDE solution require new research in computer architecture. We report on recent progress on CMOS based analog computers for solving computational electromagnetics and non-linear pressure wave equations. Our first analog computing chip was measured to be more than 400x faster than a top-of-the-line NVIDIA GPU while consuming 1000x less power for elementary computational electromagnetics computations using finite-difference time-domain scheme.
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  •  TALK    [MERL Seminar Series 2021] Harnessing machine learning to build better Earth system models for climate projection
    Date & Time: Tuesday, December 14, 2021; 1:00 PM EST
    Speaker: Prof. Chris Fletcher, University of Waterloo
    MERL Host: Ankush Chakrabarty
    Research Areas: Dynamical Systems, Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling
    Abstract
    • Decision-making and adaptation to climate change requires quantitative projections of the physical climate system and an accurate understanding of the uncertainty in those projections. Earth system models (ESMs), which solve the Navier-Stokes equations on the sphere, are the only tool that climate scientists have to make projections forward into climate states that have not been observed in the historical data record. Yet, ESMs are incredibly complex and expensive codes and contain many poorly constrained physical parameters—for processes such as clouds and convection—that must be calibrated against observations. In this talk, I will describe research from my group that uses ensembles of ESM simulations to train statistical models that learn the behavior and sensitivities of the ESM. Once trained and validated the statistical models are essentially free to run, which allows climate modelling centers to make more efficient use of precious compute cycles. The aim is to improve the quality of future climate projections, by producing better calibrated ESMs, and to improve the quantification of the uncertainties, by better sampling the equifinality of climate states.
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  •  EVENT    Prof. Melanie Zeilinger of ETH to give keynote at MERL's Virtual Open House
    Date & Time: Thursday, December 9, 2021; 1:00pm - 5:30pm EST
    Location: Virtual Event
    Speaker: Prof. Melanie Zeilinger, ETH
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Artificial Intelligence, Communications, Computational Sensing, Computer Vision, Control, Data Analytics, Dynamical Systems, Electric Systems, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling, Optimization, Robotics, Signal Processing, Speech & Audio, Digital Video, Human-Computer Interaction, Information Security
    Brief
    • MERL is excited to announce the second keynote speaker for our Virtual Open House 2021:
      Prof. Melanie Zeilinger from ETH .

      Our virtual open house will take place on December 9, 2021, 1:00pm - 5:30pm (EST).

      Join us to learn more about who we are, what we do, and discuss our internship and employment opportunities. Prof. Zeilinger's talk is scheduled for 3:15pm - 3:45pm (EST).

      Registration: https://mailchi.mp/merl/merlvoh2021

      Keynote Title: Control Meets Learning - On Performance, Safety and User Interaction

      Abstract: With increasing sensing and communication capabilities, physical systems today are becoming one of the largest generators of data, making learning a central component of autonomous control systems. While this paradigm shift offers tremendous opportunities to address new levels of system complexity, variability and user interaction, it also raises fundamental questions of learning in a closed-loop dynamical control system. In this talk, I will present some of our recent results showing how even safety-critical systems can leverage the potential of data. I will first briefly present concepts for using learning for automatic controller design and for a new safety framework that can equip any learning-based controller with safety guarantees. The second part will then discuss how expert and user information can be utilized to optimize system performance, where I will particularly highlight an approach developed together with MERL for personalizing the motion planning in autonomous driving to the individual driving style of a passenger.
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  •  EVENT    Prof. Ashok Veeraraghavan of Rice University to give keynote at MERL's Virtual Open House
    Date & Time: Thursday, December 9, 2021; 1:00pm - 5:30pm EST
    Location: Virtual Event
    Speaker: Prof. Ashok Veeraraghavan, Rice University
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Artificial Intelligence, Communications, Computational Sensing, Computer Vision, Control, Data Analytics, Dynamical Systems, Electric Systems, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling, Optimization, Robotics, Signal Processing, Speech & Audio, Digital Video, Human-Computer Interaction, Information Security
    Brief
    • MERL is excited to announce the first keynote speaker for our Virtual Open House 2021:
      Prof. Ashok Veeraraghavan from Rice University.

      Our virtual open house will take place on December 9, 2021, 1:00pm - 5:30pm (EST).

      Join us to learn more about who we are, what we do, and discuss our internship and employment opportunities. Prof. Veeraraghavan's talk is scheduled for 1:15pm - 1:45pm (EST).

      Registration: https://mailchi.mp/merl/merlvoh2021

      Keynote Title: Computational Imaging: Beyond the limits imposed by lenses.

      Abstract: The lens has long been a central element of cameras, since its early use in the mid-nineteenth century by Niepce, Talbot, and Daguerre. The role of the lens, from the Daguerrotype to modern digital cameras, is to refract light to achieve a one-to-one mapping between a point in the scene and a point on the sensor. This effect enables the sensor to compute a particular two-dimensional (2D) integral of the incident 4D light-field. We propose a radical departure from this practice and the many limitations it imposes. In the talk we focus on two inter-related research projects that attempt to go beyond lens-based imaging.

      First, we discuss our lab’s recent efforts to build flat, extremely thin imaging devices by replacing the lens in a conventional camera with an amplitude mask and computational reconstruction algorithms. These lensless cameras, called FlatCams can be less than a millimeter in thickness and enable applications where size, weight, thickness or cost are the driving factors. Second, we discuss high-resolution, long-distance imaging using Fourier Ptychography, where the need for a large aperture aberration corrected lens is replaced by a camera array and associated phase retrieval algorithms resulting again in order of magnitude reductions in size, weight and cost. Finally, I will spend a few minutes discussing how the wholistic computational imaging approach can be used to create ultra-high-resolution wavefront sensors.
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  •  EVENT    MERL Virtual Open House 2021
    Date & Time: Thursday, December 9, 2021; 100pm-5:30pm (EST)
    Location: Virtual Event
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Artificial Intelligence, Communications, Computational Sensing, Computer Vision, Control, Data Analytics, Dynamical Systems, Electric Systems, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling, Optimization, Robotics, Signal Processing, Speech & Audio, Digital Video, Human-Computer Interaction, Information Security
    Brief
    • Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories cordially invites you to join our Virtual Open House, on December 9, 2021, 1:00pm - 5:30pm (EST).

      The event will feature keynotes, live sessions, research area booths, and time for open interactions with our researchers. Join us to learn more about who we are, what we do, and discuss our internship and employment opportunities.

      Registration: https://mailchi.mp/merl/merlvoh2021
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  •  NEWS    Ankush Chakrabarty gave an invited talk at CRAN: Centre de Recherche en Automatique de Nancy, France
    Date: October 21, 2021
    Where: Université de Lorraine, France
    MERL Contact: Ankush Chakrabarty
    Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence, Control, Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling, Optimization
    Brief
    • Ankush Chakrabarty (RS, Multiphysical Systems Team) gave an invited talk on `Bayesian-Optimized Estimation and Control for Buildings and HVAC' at the Research Center for Automatic Control (CRAN) in the University of Lorraine in France. The talk presented recent MERL research on probabilistic machine learning for set-point optimization and calibration of digital twins for building energy systems.
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  •  NEWS    Ankush Chakrabarty gave an invited talk at University of Illinois at Chicago
    Date: April 9, 2021
    MERL Contact: Ankush Chakrabarty
    Research Areas: Control, Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling, Optimization
    Brief
    • Ankush Chakrabarty, a Research Scientist at MERL's Multiphysical Systems (MS) Team, gave an invited talk on "Learning for Control and Estimation using Digital Twins" at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Seminar Series organized at UIC. The talk proposed new learning-based control/estimation architectures that can utilize simulation data obtained from digital twins to add self-optimization and constraint-enforcement features to grey/black-box control systems.
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  •  EVENT    MERL Virtual Open House 2020
    Date & Time: Wednesday, December 9, 2020; 1:00-5:00PM EST
    Location: Virtual
    MERL Contacts: Elizabeth Phillips; Anthony Vetro
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Artificial Intelligence, Communications, Computational Sensing, Computer Vision, Control, Data Analytics, Dynamical Systems, Electric Systems, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling, Optimization, Robotics, Signal Processing, Speech & Audio
    Brief
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  •  TALK    Universal Differential Equations for Scientific Machine Learning
    Date & Time: Thursday, May 7, 2020; 12:00 PM
    Speaker: Christopher Rackauckas, MIT
    MERL Host: Christopher R. Laughman
    Research Areas: Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling, Optimization
    Abstract
    • In the context of science, the well-known adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" might well be "a model is worth a thousand datasets." Scientific models, such as Newtonian physics or biological gene regulatory networks, are human-driven simplifications of complex phenomena that serve as surrogates for the countless experiments that validated the models. Recently, machine learning has been able to overcome the inaccuracies of approximate modeling by directly learning the entire set of nonlinear interactions from data. However, without any predetermined structure from the scientific basis behind the problem, machine learning approaches are flexible but data-expensive, requiring large databases of homogeneous labeled training data. A central challenge is reco nciling data that is at odds with simplified models without requiring "big data". In this talk we discuss a new methodology, universal differential equations (UDEs), which augment scientific models with machine-learnable structures for scientifically-based learning. We show how UDEs can be utilized to discover previously unknown governing equations, accurately extrapolate beyond the original data, and accelerate model simulation, all in a time and data-efficient manner. This advance is coupled with open-source software that allows for training UDEs which incorporate physical constraints, delayed interactions, implicitly-defined events, and intrinsic stochasticity in the model. Our examples show how a diverse set of computationally-difficult modeling issues across scientific disciplines, from automatically discovering biological mechanisms to accelerating climate simulations by 15,000x, can be handled by training UDEs.
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  •  NEWS    Scott Bortoff gave Mercer Distinguished Lecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Date: September 25, 2019
    Where: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY
    MERL Contact: Scott A. Bortoff
    Research Areas: Control, Multi-Physical Modeling
    Brief
    • The seminar, entitled “HVAC System Control and Optimization,” was part of the Mercer Distinguished Lecture Series in the Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY. Given on Wednesday September 25, 2019, it focused on the systems engineering and control issues associated with highly integrated Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems for low and zero energy buildings.
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  •  NEWS    The Ab Initio paper selected as "HOT Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics article" and is made free to access the end of July 2019
    Date: June 12, 2019
    Where: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics – Published 22 Feb 2019
    MERL Contact: Chungwei Lin
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Multi-Physical Modeling
    Brief
    • The journal "Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP)" selects a few well-received articles highlighted as HOT by the handling editor or referees. The following paper "Band Alignment in Quantum Wells from Automatically Tuned DFT+U" with MERL authors Grigory Kolesov, Chungwei Lin, Andrew Knyazev, Keisuke Kojima, Joseph Katz has been selected as a 2019 HOT Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics article, and is made free to access until the end of July 2019. This paper provides a semi-empirical methodology to compute the lattice and electronic structures of systems composed of 400+ atoms. The efficiency of this method allows for realistic simulations of interfaces between semiconductors, which is nearly impossible using the existing methods due to the extremely large degrees of freedom involved. The formalism is tested against a few established band alignments and then applied to determine the band gaps of quantum wells; the agreement is within the experimental uncertainty.
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  •  EVENT    MERL 3rd Annual Open House
    Date & Time: Thursday, November 29, 2018; 4-6pm
    Location: 201 Broadway, 8th floor, Cambridge, MA
    MERL Contacts: Elizabeth Phillips; Anthony Vetro
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Artificial Intelligence, Communications, Computational Sensing, Computer Vision, Control, Data Analytics, Dynamical Systems, Electric Systems, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling, Optimization, Robotics, Signal Processing, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • Snacks, demos, science: On Thursday 11/29, Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) will host an open house for graduate+ students interested in internships, post-docs, and research scientist positions. The event will be held from 4-6pm and will feature demos & short presentations in our main areas of research including artificial intelligence, robotics, computer vision, speech processing, optimization, machine learning, data analytics, signal processing, communications, sensing, control and dynamical systems, as well as multi-physyical modeling and electronic devices. MERL is a high impact publication-oriented research lab with very extensive internship and university collaboration programs. Most internships lead to publication; many of our interns and staff have gone on to notable careers at MERL and in academia. Come mix with our researchers, see our state of the art technologies, and learn about our research opportunities. Dress code: casual, with resumes.

      Pre-registration for the event is strongly encouraged:
      merlopenhouse.eventbrite.com

      Current internship and employment openings:
      www.merl.com/internship/openings
      www.merl.com/employment/employment

      Information about working at MERL:
      www.merl.com/employment.
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  •  NEWS    MERL collaborates with MIT on heat management in compact fusion reactors
    Date: October 11, 2018
    MERL Contact: Christopher R. Laughman
    Research Area: Multi-Physical Modeling
    Brief
    • A new approach to heat management in compact fusion reactors that emerged from a class at MIT, developed by graduate student Adam Kuang and 14 other MIT students, engineers from Commonwealth Fusion Systems as well as Piyush Grover and Chris Laughman from MERL, and Professor Dennis Whyte, was recently published in Fusion Engineering and Design. This solution was made possible by an innovative approach to compact fusion reactors, using high-temperature superconducting magnets. This method formed the basis for a massive new research program launched this year at MIT and the creation of an independent startup company to develop the concept. The new design, unlike that of typical fusion plants, would make it possible to open the device's internal chamber and replace critical components; this capability is essential for the newly proposed heat-draining mechanism.

      In the one-semester graduate class 22.63 (Principles of Fusion Engineering), students were divided into teams to address different aspects of the heat rejection challenge. These teams evaluated alternate concepts and subjected candidate designs to detailed calculations and simulations based, in part, on data from decades of research on research fusion devices such as MIT's Alcator C-Mod, which was retired two years ago. C-Mod scientist Brian LaBombard also shared insights on new kinds of divertors, and two engineers from MERL worked with the team as well. Several of the students continued working on the project after the class ended, ultimately leading to the solution described in this new paper.
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  •  EVENT    MERL hosts Workshops for 2018 American Modelica Conference
    Date & Time: Monday, October 8, 2018 - Thursday, October 11, 2018; 8am-5pm
    Location: MIT Samberg Conference Center, Cambridge, MA
    MERL Contact: Christopher R. Laughman
    Research Areas: Control, Multi-Physical Modeling
    Brief
    • The 2018 American Modelica Conference, the first North American conference focused on the Modelica multiphysics modeling language, will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 9-10, 2018 at the Samberg Conference Center at MIT in Cambridge, MA. Chris Laughman, a team leader in the Multiphysical Systems and Devices group, is the local chair for the conference.

      This conference will feature over 40 papers and user presentations on the Modelica language and its application to a wide variety of problem domains, including thermofluid, aerospace, automotive, and energy systems. There will also be 2 keynote addresses by John McKibben (Proctor & Gamble) and Hilding Elmqvist (Mogram AB). Nearly 100 attendees from 11 different countries have already registered for the conference, and it promises to be a very educational experience.

      MERL is also hosting two free workshops on October 8 to provide opportunities to engineers looking to increase their familiarity with the language and its applications. An introductory workshop will be led by engineers from Modelon during that morning, and then a second workshop on the application of Modelica to building systems will be led by Michael Wetter from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs in the afternoon. MERL will also host a Modelica user meeting on October 11 that will provide more details and discussion about trends in the use and development of Modelica in the larger engineering community.
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