Thesis proposals

I often and gladly supervise students doing their theses and internships in our research labs, in particular in the one I am the head of, the Evolutionary Robotics and Artificial Life Lab.

Here you can find a list of topics, divided in three categories, partially overlapping. Most of them are suitable for doing a research thesis projects, i.e., something that hopefully will be finalized in a research article to be submitted to an international conference or journal. Most of them are adequate, in terms of expected quality and quantity of effort to devote, to be tackled as master thesis project, i.e., ranging from 15 to 24 CFUs.

To know more about one or few specific topics, please contact me.

Currently available topics #

Evolutionary robotics #

  • Learning techniques for the controllers of simulated modular soft robots: reinforcement learning
  • Auto-assembly of simulated modular soft robots
  • Resolution-agnostic representation for evolution of closed-loop controllers of simulated modular soft robots
  • Social/cultural/imitation learning for simulated modular soft robots
  • Hierarchical (module role-based or environmental context-based) policies for simulated modular robots
  • A embodied/situated, structurally plastic (Hebbian-like) neural network for simulated robotic agents
    • see Najarro, Elias, Shyam Sudhakaran, and Sebastian Risi. “Towards self-assembling artificial neural networks through neural developmental programs.” Artificial Life Conference Proceedings 35. Vol. 2023. No. 1. One Rogers Street, Cambridge, MA 02142-1209, USA journals-info@ mit. edu: MIT Press, 2023.
    • Winther Pedersen, Joachim, et al. “Structurally Flexible Neural Networks: Evolving the Building Blocks for General Agents.” arXiv e-prints (2024): arXiv-2404.

Artificial life #

  • Evolutionary optimization of synapsis-wise and reward-driven autoadaptation rules
  • Autogenerating neural-networks

Evolutionary computation #

  • Program synthesis using graph-based genetic programming for Petri Nets-like graphs
  • Lexicase selection for control problems
    • see: Stanton, Adam, and Jared M. Moore. “Lexicase selection for multi-task evolutionary robotics.” Artificial Life 28.4 (2022): 479-498.
  • LLM-based case generation for lexicase selection
  • Map-elites merges lexicase selection
  • Adaptive crossover for map-elites
  • Two- or multi-stage quality-diversity evolution with a representation based on anchor solutions
  • Map-elites with trajectory-based, instead of point-based, pupulation arrangement
  • Diversity promotion based on neutrality graph
  • Location-based adaptive surrogate fitness
  • Adaptive strategy for selection in map-elites based on ancestry-similarity

Ongoing topics #

  • Co-evolutionary map-elites
  • Reconfigurable neural cellular automata