Monthly
288 pp. per issue
6 x 9, illustrated
ISSN
0899-7667
E-ISSN
1530-888X
2014 Impact factor:
2.21

Neural Computation

January 2013, Vol. 25, No. 1, Pages 221-258
(doi: 10.1162/NECO_a_00376)
© 2012 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ANUBIS: Artificial Neuromodulation Using a Bayesian Inference System
Article PDF (2.69 MB)
Abstract

Gain tuning is a crucial part of controller design and depends not only on an accurate understanding of the system in question, but also on the designer's ability to predict what disturbances and other perturbations the system will encounter throughout its operation. This letter presents ANUBIS (artificial neuromodulation using a Bayesian inference system), a novel biologically inspired technique for automatically tuning controller parameters in real time. ANUBIS is based on the Bayesian brain concept and modifies it by incorporating a model of the neuromodulatory system comprising four artificial neuromodulators. It has been applied to the controller of EchinoBot, a prototype walking rover for Martian exploration. ANUBIS has been implemented at three levels of the controller; gait generation, foot trajectory planning using Bézier curves, and foot trajectory tracking using a terminal sliding mode controller. We compare the results to a similar system that has been tuned using a multilayer perceptron. The use of Bayesian inference means that the system retains mathematical interpretability, unlike other intelligent tuning techniques, which use neural networks, fuzzy logic, or evolutionary algorithms. The simulation results show that ANUBIS provides significant improvements in efficiency and adaptability of the three controller components; it allows the robot to react to obstacles and uncertainties faster than the system tuned with the MLP, while maintaining stability and accuracy. As well as advancing rover autonomy, ANUBIS could also be applied to other situations where operating conditions are likely to change or cannot be accurately modeled in advance, such as process control. In addition, it demonstrates one way in which neuromodulation could fit into the Bayesian brain framework.