Dr. Jie Fu Awarded Grant through the Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program

Dr. Jie Fu, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has received a 2021 Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Research Award for her project, “Towards Preference-Aware Autonomy: Specification, Synthesis, and Interactive Planning.”

The goal of the AFOSR Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) is to foster creative research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering. YIP recipients receive a three-year grant totaling $450,000. This year, only 36 proposals from researchers across the country were selected for funding.



Project Overview: Humans excel autonomy in their cognitive flexibility to make satisficing decisions in uncertain and dynamic environments.  Preference plays a key role in determining what goals or requirements to satisfy when not all desired goals can be achieved. However, in contested and stochastic environments, it maybe infeasible for the human operator to decide what objectives to be compromised in a timely manner. It is critical to leverage autonomy to augment human’s decision-making capability by providing decision support and action plans. Such level of intelligence can only be achieved if the autonomous system is equipped with human-like preference-based reasoning for satisficing planning.