"Modeling & Control of HIV Mutation and Escape"

Rick Middleton, The Hamilton Institute, National University of Ireland Maynooth

November 10th (Wednesday), 1:00pm
ESB 2001

In recent years, we have seen a growing interest in probabilistic and randomized methods for design of uncertain complex systems. In this lecture, we provide a broad perspective of this research area and discuss several randomized algorithms. In particular, we present sequential algorithms for convex problems and we discuss non-sequential algorithms for non-convex problems. Furthermore, we demonstrate the utility of this approach for analyzing specific applications, such as the computation of PageRank in search engine Google and the design of autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles.

About Rick Middleton:

Systems & Control Research: I am interested in a broad range of feedback and dynamic systems theory and applications. Some of my recent interests and results are below.

Trade-offs & Performance limitations in Feedback Control Systems: I have a long standing interest in trying to analyses and understand the factors inherent in a system that limit the achievable feedback control performance, and hence gives rise to inevitable trade-offs in control system design. Early work on this examined the roles of open loop instability, non-minimum phase behaviour (that is, lack of a stable inverse), and time delays. More recently I have looked at communication constraints, and also problems in formation control of autonomous vehicles. In particular, I have worked on conditions in rigid formation following that give rise to a problem known as 'String Instability'.

RoboCup Soccer: For several years now, I have been part of the University of Newcastle's RoboCup soccer team, the NUbots. We have competed in the 4 Legged League Soccer, and have been placed in the top three since we joined the competition in 2002. In this application, I am particularly interested in the problem of robot localisation using the Extended Kalman Filter, feedback control for legged motion, and distributed systems. At NUIM, we have been accepted to compete in the standard platform league of the RoboCup soccer competition. Newcastle University (Australia) and NUI Maynooth competed as the NUManoids in the 2008 RoboCup Soccer, Standard Platform (Nao) League and achieved first place!

Applications of Systems, Control and Optimisation: I have a wide range of experience in applications of systems, control and optimisation. A selection of recent work includes:

  • Advanced Software Tools for Model Based Control (with Matrikon Pty Ltd)
  • Scheduling and Stochastic Optimisation for Open Pit Mining Operations (with BHP Billiton Innovation)
  • Automotive Control Applications
  • Control of Power Electronics Inverters

Systems Biology: I am interested in applications of systems, control and dynamics in biology, working with the Systems Biology group at the Hamilton Institute. Previous work has focussed on phase analysis of coupled oscillators. More recently I have been working with colleagues in the Systems Biology group at the Hamilton, in particular relating to understanding the dynamics of networks of biochemical reactions. I am also interested in modelling and control of HIV infection dynamics and Parkinson's disease.

Control over Communication Networks: I have examined a number of aspects of feedback control loops over finite capacity communication channels. These works include examining information theoretic analyses of limits on the achievable loop properties dictated by finite capacity. In addition, I have worked on achievable performance for particular classes of power constrained AWGN and ACGN channels.


  • Senior Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control
  • President Elect (2010) of the IEEE Control Systems Society
  • Member of the Technical Committee, RoboCup Soccer Standard Platform League

Hosted by: CCDC Seminar