A Little More about Myself (Gavin Rens)

I was registered for my Doctorate with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa. My main supervisor was Thomas (Tommie) Meyer and joint-supervisor Gerhard Lakemeyer.

I spent a year at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany with Prof. Lakemeyer. The rest of the time, i was living in Pretoria, South Africa, while working on the PhD.

The thesis culminated in the Stochastic Decision Logic (SDL), a formal logic for specifying and reasoning about POMDPs.

After completing my Doctorate, i received a two-year post-doctorate fellowship with UKZN, under the supervision of Dr. Deshendran Moodley. However, i still worked remotely from Pretoria. My two main publications in this time were about probabilistic belief revision (European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2016) and proposing an agent architecture which combines the POMDP framework and the belief-desire-intention (BDI) architecture (Journal of Cognitive Systems Research).

Currently i am in the middle of a two-year post-doctorate fellowship, sponsored by the Claude Leon Foundation, and situated at the University of Cape Town. My wife and i moved down to Cape Town for this one — we’re actually just two kilometers from the campus.

I’m working on four papers: (1) an extension to POMDPs involving trust between multiple agents, (2)  general probabilistic belief update, (3) probabilistic belief change based on similarity weighting and (4) combining description logics with probabilistic belief revision. All this is in collaboration with various researchers.

In August 2017, i presented A Stochastic Belief Management Framework for Agent Control at the first workshop on Architectures for Generality and Autonomy.


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