Christopher Laughman

Christopher Laughman
  • Biography

    Christopher's interests lie in the intersection of the modeling of physical systems and the experimental construction and testing of these systems, including simulation, numerical methods, and fault detection. He has worked on a variety of multi-physical systems, such as thermo-fluid systems and electromechanical energy conversion systems.

  • Recent News & Events

    •  TALK   Universal Differential Equations for Scientific Machine Learning
      Date & Time: Thursday, May 7, 2020; 12:00 PM
      Speaker: Christopher Rackauckas, MIT
      MERL Host: Christopher Laughman
      Research Areas: Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling, Optimization
      Brief
      • 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   MERL researchers presented more than 8 papers in European Control Conference, ECC 2019
      Date: June 25, 2019 - June 28, 2019
      Where: Naples, Italy
      MERL Contacts: Karl Berntorp; Scott Bortoff; Ankush Chakrabarty; Stefano Di Cairano; Devesh Jha; Christopher Laughman; Daniel Nikovski; Rien Quirynen; Diego Romeres; William Yerazunis
      Research Areas: Control, Machine Learning, Optimization
      Brief
      • The European Control Conference is the premier control conference in Europe. This year MERL was well represented with papers on control for HVAC, machine learning for estimation and control, robot assembly, and optimization methods for control.
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  • MERL Publications

    •  Laughman, C.R., Bortoff, S.A., "Nonlinear State Estimation with FMI: Tutorial and Applications", American Modelica Conference 2020, March 2020.
      BibTeX TR2020-031 PDF Software
      • @inproceedings{Laughman2020mar,
      • author = {Laughman, Christopher R. and Bortoff, Scott A.},
      • title = {Nonlinear State Estimation with FMI: Tutorial and Applications},
      • booktitle = {American Modelica Conference 2020},
      • year = 2020,
      • month = mar,
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2020-031}
      • }
    •  Laughman, C.R., Mackey, C., Bortoff, S.A., Qiao, H., "Modeling and Control of Radiant, Convective, and Ventilation Systems for Multizone Residences", Building Simulation, DOI: 10.26868/25222708.2019.210847, September 2019.
      BibTeX TR2019-093 PDF
      • @article{Laughman2019sep,
      • author = {Laughman, Christopher R. and Mackey, Chris and Bortoff, Scott A. and Qiao, Hongtao},
      • title = {Modeling and Control of Radiant, Convective, and Ventilation Systems for Multizone Residences},
      • journal = {Building Simulation},
      • year = 2019,
      • month = sep,
      • doi = {10.26868/25222708.2019.210847},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2019-093}
      • }
    •  Qiao, H., Nabi, S., Laughman, C.R., "Performance Evaluation of HVAC Systems via Coupled Simulation between Modelica and OpenFOAM", International Conference on Compressor and Refrigeration, July 2019.
      BibTeX TR2019-073 PDF
      • @inproceedings{Hongtao2019jul,
      • author = {Qiao, Hongtao and Nabi, Saleh and Laughman, Christopher R.},
      • title = {Performance Evaluation of HVAC Systems via Coupled Simulation between Modelica and OpenFOAM},
      • booktitle = {International Conference on Compressor and Refrigeration},
      • year = 2019,
      • month = jul,
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2019-073}
      • }
    •  Krupa, P., Danielson, C., Laughman, C.R., Bortoff, S.A., Burns, D.J., Di Cairano, S., Limon, D., "Modelica Implementation of Centralized MPC Controller for a Multi-Zone Heat Pump", European Control Conference (ECC), DOI: 10.23919/ECC.2019.8795616, June 2019, pp. 1784-1789.
      BibTeX TR2019-056 PDF
      • @inproceedings{Krupa2019jun,
      • author = {Krupa, Pablo and Danielson, Claus and Laughman, Christopher R. and Bortoff, Scott A. and Burns, Daniel J. and Di Cairano, Stefano and Limon, Daniel},
      • title = {Modelica Implementation of Centralized MPC Controller for a Multi-Zone Heat Pump},
      • booktitle = {18th European Control Conference (ECC)},
      • year = 2019,
      • pages = {1784--1789},
      • month = jun,
      • doi = {10.23919/ECC.2019.8795616},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2019-056}
      • }
    •  Ploskas, N., Laughman, C.R., Raghunathan, A., Sahinidis, N.V., "Heat Exchanger Circuitry Design by Decision Diagrams", International Conference on the Integration of Constraint Programming, Artificial Intelligence, and Operations Research, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-19212-9_30, June 2019, vol. 11494, pp. 467-471.
      BibTeX TR2019-038 PDF
      • @inproceedings{Ploskas2019jun,
      • author = {Ploskas, Nikolaos and Laughman, Christopher R. and Raghunathan, Arvind and Sahinidis, Nikolaos V.},
      • title = {Heat Exchanger Circuitry Design by Decision Diagrams},
      • booktitle = {International Conference on the Integration of Constraint Programming, Artificial Intelligence, and Operations Research},
      • year = 2019,
      • volume = 11494,
      • pages = {467--471},
      • month = jun,
      • doi = {10.1007/978-3-030-19212-9_30},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2019-038}
      • }
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  • Software Downloads

  • Videos

  • MERL Issued Patents

    • Title: "System and Method for Controlling Vapor Compression Systems"
      Inventors: Burns, Dan J; Laughman, Christopher; Bortoff, Scott A.
      Patent No.: 10,495,364
      Issue Date: Dec 3, 2019
    • Title: "Coordinated Operation of Multiple Space-Conditioning Systems"
      Inventors: Laughman, Christopher; Qiao, Hongtao; Burns, Dan J; Bortoff, Scott A.
      Patent No.: 10,234,158
      Issue Date: Mar 19, 2019
    • Title: "System and Method for Controlling Multi-Zone Vapor Compression Systems"
      Inventors: Burns, Dan J; Di Cairano, Stefano; Bortoff, Scott A.; Laughman, Christopher
      Patent No.: 10,174,957
      Issue Date: Jan 8, 2019
    • Title: "System and Method for Controlling of Vapor Compression System"
      Inventors: Burns, Dan J; Jain, Neera; Laughman, Christopher; Di Cairano, Stefano; Bortoff, Scott A.
      Patent No.: 9,625,196
      Issue Date: Apr 18, 2017
    • Title: "Method For Reconstructing 3D Scenes From 2D Images"
      Inventors: Ramalingam, Srikumar; Taguchi, Yuichi; Pillai, Jaishanker K; Burns, Dan J; Laughman, Christopher
      Patent No.: 9,595,134
      Issue Date: Mar 14, 2017
    • Title: "System and Method for Controlling Vapor Compression Systems"
      Inventors: Burns, Dan J; Laughman, Christopher; Bortoff, Scott A.
      Patent No.: 9,534,820
      Issue Date: Jan 3, 2017
    • Title: "System and Method for Controlling Temperature and Humidity in Multiple Spaces using Liquid Desiccant"
      Inventors: Laughman, Christopher; Burns, Dan J; Bortoff, Scott A.; Waters, Richard C.
      Patent No.: 9,518,765
      Issue Date: Dec 13, 2016
    • Title: "Adaptive Control of Vapor Compression System"
      Inventors: Burns, Dan J; Laughman, Christopher
      Patent No.: 9,182,154
      Issue Date: Nov 10, 2015
    • Title: "Controlling Operation of Vapor Compression System"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Laughman, Christopher; Burns, Dan J
      Patent No.: 8,793,003
      Issue Date: Jul 29, 2014
    • Title: "System and Method for Controlling Operations of Vapor Compression"
      Inventors: Bortoff, Scott A.; Burns, Dan J; Laughman, Christopher
      Patent No.: 8,694,131
      Issue Date: Apr 8, 2014
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