Value-centered Information Theory for Adaptive Learning, Inference, Tracking, and Exploitation

Program Manager: Dr. Liyi Dai, ARO


* University of Michigan: Alfred Hero (PI), Raj Rao Nadakuditi

  • MIT: John Fisher, Jonathan How, Alan Willsky
  • Ohio State University: Randolph Moses, Emre Ertin
  • University of California, Berkeley: Michael Jordan
  • University of California, Los Angeles: Stefano Soatto
  • University of California, San Diego: Angela Yu
  • Arizona State University: Doug Cochran

A complete roster and web page links may be found at People.


Our research program aims to lay the foundations for a new systems theory that applies to general controlled information gathering and inference systems with mission planning. Our research approach comprises three inter-related research themes that collectively address the most critical research challenges. These thrusts are:

  1. information-driven structure learning and representation
  2. distributed information fusion
  3. active resource management for effective information exploitation.

We aim to develop an end-to-end framework that will result in better raw sensor data acquisition and processing, improved fusion of multiple sources and modalities, and more effective sensor management and control.

Executive Summary

An executive summary of the project can be found here.


Fourth-year review meeting

Time and Location

Friday, Nov 13th, 2015
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Room 32-G449 (Kiva) map for locating room
Ray and Maria Stata Center
32 Vassar Street, Bldg. 32
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Mass 02139
Directions to Stata Center: google maps


Cambridge Residence Inn - $292/night (the negotiated MIT rate)
120 Broadway, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142
Hotel website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/boscm-residence-inn-boston-cambridge/


 Time           Activity 
 8:00 – 8:30    Get settled with coffee
 8:30 - 8:35    Welcome, Liyi Dai 
 8:35 - 8:50    Project overview, Al Hero 
 8:50 - 10:20   Thrust area I: Information-driven Learning and Representation 
                PI Summaries: Doug Cochran, Stefano Soatto, Al Hero
10:20 - 10:30   Break 
10:30 - 12:00   Thrust area II: Information Fusion
                PI summaries, Raj Rao Nadakuditi, Emre Ertin,  Jon How 
12:00 - 2:00    Lunch and poster session   
 2:00 - 3:30    Thrust area III: Information Exploitation
                PI summaries:  Angela Yu, John Fisher, Michael Jordan 
 3:30 - 3:45    Wrap-up, Al Hero
 3:45 - 4:30    Government discussion and de-briefing
 4:30           Adjourn

Slides for fourth-year review meeting

Poster titles and presenters

  • Nithin Sugavanam and Emre Ertin, “Waveform Design for Compressive MIMO Radar” MIMOPoster.pdf MIMOSlide.pdf
  • Diyan Teng and Emre Ertin, “Learning for Sequential Information Fusion” SequentialFusionPoster.pdf SequentialSlide.pdf
  • Gene Whipps, Emre Ertin, Randy Moses, “Distributed change detection of a radioactive source” SourceDetectionPoster.pdf
  • Gene Whipps, Emre Ertin, Randy Moses, Decentralized iterative algorithm for ML estimation of a mixture of factor analyzers MoFAPoster.pdf
  • Hye Won Chung, Brian Sadler, Alfred Hero, “When does entropy-driven search work?” ChungSadlerHero_poster.pdf
  • Tianpei Xie, Nasser Nasrabadi and Alfred Hero, "Multi-sensor classification via consensus-based multi-view maximum entropy discrimination" XieHero_poster.pdf
  • Brian E. Moore, Raj Rao Nadakuditi, and Jeffrey A. Fessler, "The accuracy of singular vectors of thresholded low-rank plus noise plus outlier matrices"raj_poster.pdf
  • Beipeng Mu, Ali-akbar Agha-mohammadi, Liam Paull, Matthew Graham, John Leonard, Jonathan How, Two-Stage Focused Inference for Resource-Constrained Collision Free Navigation MuHow2015_poster.pdf
  • Beipeng Mu, Liam Paull, Ali-akbar Agha-mohammadi, John Leonard, Jonathan How, "Information-Based Active SLAM via Topological Feature Graphs" MuHow2015_poster2.pdf
  • V. Estellers, M.A. Scott, S. Soatto, "Robust Surface Reconstruction." EstellersSoatto_poster.pdf

ARL Visit July 8 2015

PDF slide presentation (Hero): Hero_ARL_visit_070815.pdf

Third-year review meeting

Time and Location

Thursday, Nov 20th, 2014
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
AMP Lab, Soda Hall
Berkeley, California
Directions: .html


Hotel Shattuck Plaza
Tel: 510-845-7300 (ask for "AMPLab group special rate")
Link: 1.
Cutoff date: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Hotel web site: http://www.hotelshattuckplaza.com/


 Time           Activity 
 8:00 – 8:30    Get settled with coffee  
 8:30 - 8:35    Welcome  (Liyi Dai) 
 8:35 - 8:50    Project overview (Al Hero) 
 8:50 - 9:30    Mathematical foundations for value-of-information (Al Hero and Doug Cochran)
 9:30 - 10:10   Learning with information constraints  (Michael Jordan) 
10:10 - 10:30   Break
10:30 - 11:30   Poster highlight talks
11:30 - 1:30    Poster session  and lunch 
 1:30 - 2:10    Information fusion and exploration (Stefano Soatto)
 2:10 - 2:50    Information planning and active data collection (John Fisher and Jon How)
 2:50 - 3:10    Break
 3:10 - 3:30    Radar testbed  (Emre Ertin)
 3:30 - 3:45    Wrapup (Al Hero)
 3:45 - 4:30    Government discussion and de-briefing
 4:30           Adjourn

Slides for third-year review meeting

Poster titles and presenters

ARL Visit June 14 2014

PDF slide presentation (Hero): ARL_2014_slides.pdf

PDF slide presentation (Yu): ARL14 yu.pdf

Second-year review meeting

Monday, September 9th, 2013
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Seminar Room, Zahl Building
U.S. Army Research Laboratory
2800 Powder Mill Road, Adelphi MD 20783
ARL visitor pamphlet: .pdf

Non-ARL personnel should arrange invitations for attendance through Dr. Liyi Dai, ARO

Morning of the review:

Visitors budget 30 minutes to get onto base, get badged, and be escorted to the seminar room. Parking at ARL can be challenging, so allowing additional time for this is also advisable. Visitors should try to park in the South Lot. Late arrivals may have to park in K Lot. Visitors must enter through building 205 and report to the badging office. Government issued ID will be required (2 forms of government issued ID required for non-US citizens). This building and the parking lots are labeled 1n the ARL visitors pamphlet. US visitors will be escorted from the badging room to the meeting room in Zahl. Non-US visitors will need to be escorted from the main front gate to parking, badging, and then the meeting room. Visit requests, filed in advance of the meeting, let the front gate guards know the appropriate escorts for the non-US visitors.


 Time           Activity 
 8:00 – 8:30    Check in at ARL visitor office 
 8:30 - 8:35    Welcome, Liyi Dai 
 8:35 - 8:50    Project overview, Al Hero 
 8:50 - 10:15   Thrust area I: Learning and Representation 
                Overview, Michael Jordan 
                PI Summaries, Michael Jordan, Stefano Soatto, Al Hero, Angela Yu
10:15 - 10:30   Break 
10:30 - 11:35   Thrust area III: Information Exploitation
                Overview, Doug Cochran
                PI summaries: Emre Ertin, Jon How, Doug Cochran
11:35 - 12:05   Collaborative highlights and DURIP testbed (Emre Ertin)
12:05 - 1:50    Lunch and poster session
 1:50 - 2:55    Thrust area II: Information Fusion
                Overview, John Fisher
                PI summaries, Raj Rao Nadakuditi, Randy Moses, John Fisher
 2:55 - 3:05    Wrap-up, Al Hero
 3:05 - 4:05    Government discussion and de-briefing
 4:05           Adjourn

Slides for second-year review meeting

Project overview (Hero): 1Hero_overview_13_v.pdf

Learning thrust area overview (Jordan): Media:Jordan_thrust1_overview.pdf

Exploitation thrust area overview (Cochran):

DURIP testbed (Ertin): 11DURIPSlides.pdf Collaborative highlights (Hero): Media:11EightCollaborations.pdf

Fusion thrust area overview (Fisher):

Wrap-up (Hero): 16Hero_wrapup_13_v.pdf

Poster titles and presenters

  • N. Asendorf and R. R. Nadakuditi, "The Performance of Deterministic Matched Subspace Detectors: Informative Versus Useful Subspace Components"
  • T. Broderick, N. Boyd, A. Wibisono, A. Wilson, and M.I. Jordan, "Streaming Variational Bayes"
  • L. Crider, R. R. Nadakuditi, and D. Cochran, "Analyze-Fuse vs. Fuse-Analyze in Multiple-channel Emitter Detection"
  • ''Z. Meng,", D. Wei, A. Wiesel, and A. Hero, "Distributed learning of Gaussuab graphical models via marginal likelihoods"
  • B. Mu, G. Newstadt, J. How, and A. Hero, "Heterogeneous Agent Target Assignment in an Unknown Environment"
  • B. Mu, G. Chowdhary, J. P. How, "VoI Aware Active Task Assignment Hardware Experiment"
  • G. Papachristoudis and J. W. Fisher, "Efficient Information Planning in Graphical Models"
  • J. Straub and J. W. Fisher, "Information gathering with mobile agents: sensor and model complexity tradeoffs"
  • N. Sugavanam, and E. Ertin, "Robust Filtering with Uncertainty in Initial State"
  • N. Sugavanam, and E. Ertin, "Sensor Selection Problems in Adversarial Setting"
  • R. T. Suryaprakash and R. R. Nadakuditi, "The Performance of MUSIC-Based DOA In White Noise With Missing Data"
  • D. Teng, and E. Ertin, "Optimal Quantization of Likelihood for Low Complexity Sequential Testing"
  • *D. Teng,*and E. Ertin, "Learning Statistical Manifolds for Target Signatures"
  • T. Tsiligkaridis and A. Hero, "Covariance Estimation In High Dimensions via Kronecker Product Expansions"
  • T. Tsiligkaridis, B. Sadler, and A. Hero, "Collaborative 20 Questions for Target Localization"
  • G. T. Whipps, E. Ertin, and R. L. Moses "Decentralized EM for a Mixture of Factor Analyzers"
  • G. T. Whipps, E. Ertin, and R. L. Moses "Distributed Detection with Collisions in a Single-hop Wireless Sensor Network"
  • S. Zhang and A. J. Yu, "Forgetful Bayes and Myopic Planning: Human Decision Making in a Bandit Setting"
  • Y. Zeng, C. Wang, S. Soatto, and S.-T. Yau, "Nonlinearly Constrained MRFs: Exploring the Intrinsic Dimensions of Higher-Order Cliques"

Collaborative highlights topics

  • Use of the DURIP testbed capabilities (Ertin, Hero, Moses, How, Fisher, Cochran)
  • Convex VoI criteria for mission planning (Hero, How)
  • Information-geometric VoI in sensor planning (Cochran, Hero)
  • Learning how to rank many objects (Jordan, Hero)
  • Improving information via human-in-the-loop processing (Hero, Jordan, Yu)
  • Non-parametric estimation of Fisher information (Ertin, Hero)
  • Quantized Belief-States and Confirmation Bias (Ertin, Yu)
  • Kronecker product covariance representations in distributed sensing (Ertin, Hero)
  • Analyze-Fuse versus Fuse-Analyze in multi-channel detection (Nadakuditi, Cochran)

First year review meeting

Monday, October 29, 2012
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Rice Conference Room, 6764 Boelter Hall
UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Hotels and transportation

Parking information for those with cars:

For those arriving by car from the South, exit the 405 freeway at Wilshire East, then follow Wilshire East to Westwood North, that end into campus. Past the hospitals there is a parking booth in the center divider. Stop there and get a daily permit for $11. Also ask them for a campus map. You will go to Boelter Hall, that is on your right behind the building that carries the sign "Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science". We will meet in the Rice Conference Room on the 6th floor, south-west corner of the building. For any problems, call Stefano Soatto at (310) 869 2972.

Agenda (Revised):

The formal agenda will start at 8:30AM with overview and presentations from the VoI MURI team. We will break for lunch and posters (presented by MURI-supported students) at around 11:30AM. We will then resume at 1PM with more presentations and wrapup, ending at around 2:30. This will be followed by a government caucus and feedback at around 3:30PM to the MURI team.

Kickoff meeting

Thursday, October 13, 2011
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Johnson Rooms, 3rd floor, Lurie Engineering Center
1221 Beal Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

For visitor information, please click here.

Pre-kickoff meeting

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
10 AM - 5 PM
George Haddad Conference Room, 3rd floor, EECS building
1301 Beal Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2122

Internal collaborations

collaborations: collaborative activities between co-PI's.


publications: links to publications resulting from this program.


reports: links to reports on this program.


code: links to software related to this research.

Gain access

Please email to obtain a username and password to edit this wiki. All affiliated faculty, researchers, and students are encouraged to have access. We hope to make this the central distribution center for information, files, etc.


To the [http:///voimurip private section] of this wiki.