Dr Giuliano Punzo
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
+44 114 222 5233
Full contact details
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
Amy Johnson Building
I am an aerospace engineer by training but, since I left the industry, I cultivated my interest in the broad area of control theory and complex systems. My current research aims at understanding complex dynamics at the interface between social and technical systems. These include the use of public services such as transportation or water systems, how these impact the demographic and the resilience of both the infrastructure and the community they serve. My research interests include network theory, control theory, consensus, complexity, swarm engineering and autonomous robotic systems.
- Research interests
- Complex Systems
- Transportation and mobility
- Dynamic Network and graph theory
- Unmanned aerial systems
- Distributed Control
The role of the road network on city economic performance
This project aims at mapping the transport enabled connectivity of the city economy. Using traffic data from Sheffield City Council and insights from the census, this project will draw a picture of mobility within Sheffield an across the City Region. The Network abstraction allows for the identification of critical nodes and links in the city fabric whereas the dynamics can be identified through the timeseries data. The project would deliver a modelling framework to complement and is some aspect advance the random walk assumption used to model the interaction between economic actors.
Decision making dynamics with non spatially embedded networks and superimposed information layers
Deciding between available alternatives, each more or less appealing than others depending on the proportion of people choosing it, is a classical decision and control problem.
However, in today's hyperconnected world, each decision maker is exposed to a wealth of easily available information, with either low reliability or filtered through cultural characteristics. Moreover, the individuals social networks are not spatially constrained, which means individuals capture information through the network from peers that potentially experience a completely different environment.
This project aims at producing a new understanding of the decision dynamics through a multilayer network approach where the perception of the option rewards is perceived and transmitted through direct exposure, through an imperfect information layer and a non spatially embedded social network. The preference for one choice over the others does not directly depends on the individuals experience of that option, nor solely on the experience of one node immediate neighbours. The project will relate the new insights in decision dynamics to the dynamics of information spreading, to the structure of the social network and the characteristic of the information layer.
Cooperative and non-cooperative approaches for the resilience of socio-technical systems
Users impose stresses on the technical systems and sustain the strain of the technical systems failure, when these happen. With the tragedy of the common at one extreme of non-cooperative exploitation of assets, and an exogenously optimised usage profile at the other extreme, there are many intermediate scenarios arising from the social dynamics amongst the users.
While cooperation is usually favourably regarded, it is very rarely established given the initial price in establishing it. What is the minimal intervention on the network, how and where should it be delivered to produce the onset of cooperation amongst player that preserves the health or enhance the performance of the technical systems they insist on?
Co-evolutionary dynamics in logistic networks
This project looks at developing innovative analytic methods to identify and map the end node resilience of logistic networks to the dynamics of intermediate nodes. The Northern corridor in East Africa is an archetype of logistic supply networks. Co-evolutionary dynamics of the logistic nodes and analysis of the network structure using algebraic graph theory are envisaged to be two of the possible tools to answer the research question.
Through the corridor, communities are ensured the continuity of supplies. Investments are attracted if a good level of resilience can be ensured for the logistic and supply chain. The sustained traffic volume increases the value of controlling the infrastructure assets.
This project is cast within the framework of evolutionary dynamics and complex network theory.
Evolutionary dynamics define state updating rules, that is, how the state of a node can change from zero to one as a function of the neighbour nodes’ states. Thus we can formally describe how a failure in one component affects the functioning of other neighbouring components. Such rules could also describe the probability that an alteration of the behaviour in one component compromises the functioning of a neighbouring component.
The fault propagation is linked to different properties of the network such as the node degree or the node centrality. These properties can be leveraged to measure the convergence probability to the all-mutant state in consequence of a mutant gene originating in a specific zone of the network. Irrespective of the application domain, the above property is a clear indication of the resilience of the network.
- On the use of random graphs in analysing resource utilization in urban systems. Royal Society Open Science, 7. View this article in WRRO
- Engineering resilient complex systems : the necessary shift toward complexity science. IEEE Systems Journal. View this article in WRRO
- Network communities of dynamical influence. Scientific Reports, 9. View this article in WRRO
- Network Communities of Dynamical Influence. Scientific Reports, 9(1). View this article in WRRO
- Enhancing resilience within and between critical infrastructure systems. Environment Systems and Decisions, 38(3), 275-277. View this article in WRRO
- Flood resilience: consolidating knowledge between and within critical infrastructure sectors. Environment Systems and Decisions, 38(3), 318-329. View this article in WRRO
- Bipartite Guidance, Navigation and Control Architecture for Autonomous Aerial Inspections Under Safety Constraints. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems. View this article in WRRO
- Autonomous and scalable control for remote inspection with multiple aerial vehicles. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 87, 258-268. View this article in WRRO
- Engineering the locusts: Hind leg modelling towards the design of a bio-inspired space hopper. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part K: Journal of Multi-body Dynamics, 230(4), 455-468. View this article in WRRO
- Using Network Dynamical Influence to Drive Consensus. Scientific Reports, 6, 26318-26318. View this article in WRRO
- Enabling and Exploiting Self-Similar Central Symmetry Formations. IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, 50(1), 689-703.
- Characteristics of swarms on the edge of fragmentation. Physical Review E, 89(3).
Conference proceedings papers
- Consensus speed optimisation with finite leadership perturbation in k-nearest neighbour networks. 2016 IEEE 55th Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), 12 December 2016 - 14 December 2016.
- Consensus speed maximisation in engineered swarms with autocratic leaders. Proceedings of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and the International Conference on Automation, Control and Robotics Engineering - ICAIR-CACRE '16, 13 July 2016 - 15 July 2016.
- 3D model generation using an airborne swarm. 41ST ANNUAL REVIEW OF PROGRESS IN QUANTITATIVE NONDESTRUCTIVE EVALUATION: Volume 34
- Impact of a Purina fractal array geometry on beamforming performance and complexity. European Signal Processing Conference
- Reconfigurable robotic platforms for structural health monitoring. Proceedings of the 6th European Workshop - Structural Health Monitoring 2012, EWSHM 2012, Vol. 2 (pp 1187-1194)
- Low-cost, multi-agent systems for planetary surface exploration. Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC, Vol. 11 (pp 9244-9255)
- Fractal patterns in fractionated spacecraft. 62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011, Vol. 11 (pp 9034-9043)
- A fractally fractionated spacecraft. 62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011, Vol. 9 (pp 7147-7156)
- Enhancing Self-similar Patterns by Asymmetric Artificial Potential Functions in Partially Connected Swarms (pp 390-391)
- swarm shape manipulation through connection control. TAROS 2010
- Possible new developments of MPD propulsion. International Astronautical Federation - 55th International Astronautical Congress 2004, Vol. 13 (pp 8935-8941)
- Teaching activities
- AER120 Introduction to Aerospace Design
- ACS230 Control Systems Design and Analysis
- First, second and year abroad tutor for Aerospace Engineering