Alum Shinkyu Park wins 2022 O. Hugo Schuck Award

Shinkyu Park

Shinkyu Park. Photo credit: KAUST.

Congratulations to alum Shinkyu Park (ECE Ph.D. 2015), who has won the American Automatic Control Conference’s 2022 O. Hugh Schuck Award. The award recognizes the best papers presented at the previous year’s American Control Conference. Park and his co-author and fellow ECE alum Naomi Leonard’s paper, “KL Divergence Regularized Learning Model for Multi-Agent Decision Making,” was the only paper to win the award for 2022.

This work, entered in the “theory” category, was written while Park was an associate research scholar with Leonard at Princeton University. Leonard (EE Ph.D. 1994) is the Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton. She is the recipient of the 2023 IEEE Control Systems Award “for contributions to applications and theory for control of nonlinear and multiagent systems.” | Read our story here |

At Maryland, Park was a student of Professor Nuno Martins (ECE/ISR), himself a winner of the O. Hugo Schuck Award in 2006 for "Fundamental Limitations of Performance in the Presence of Finite Capacity Feedback," which he wrote with M. A. Dahleh.

Park and Leonard’s paper investigated a new mathematical framework to study decision making in multi-agent systems. Applications range from route selection for autonomous vehicles to regulating consumer electricity demands in smart grids.

Traditionally, game theory models have been used in multi-agent decision-making problems to determine how incentivized decision-making agents could learn and make effective decisions. However, the agents tend to make suboptimal decisions when the incentive mechanism is delayed.

Park says, “In our paper, we proposed a novel higher-order decision-making model that allows the agents to make effective decisions despite delayed incentives. Our findings can be applied to design algorithms for networked robots to learn to coordinate and carry out team missions in real-world applications where delay in data communication is prevalent.”

Park is an assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. He is the principal investigator of Distributed Robotics and Autonomy (DSA) Group.

—Thanks to David Murphy of KAUST for the photo and portions of this story.

Published July 20, 2022