ZiF Research Group

Cognitive Behavior of Humans, Animals, and Machines:

Situation Model Perspectives

October 2019 – July 2020

Convenors: Werner Schneider (Bielefeld, GER), Helge Ritter (Bielefeld, GER)

David Vernon


Foto Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Carnegie Mellon University Africa, Rwanda
E-Mail: vernon@cmu.edu


David Vernon received his undergraduate degree in engineering in 1979 and his Ph.D. in computer science in 1985, both from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Over the past 40 years, he has worked for Westinghouse Electric in Ireland and the USA, for the European Commission and Science Foundation Ireland, and for leading universities in Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. He is presently a professor at Carnegie Mellon University Africa in Rwanda. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, a Chartered Engineer of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland, and a past Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. He is co-chair of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Technical Committee for Cognitive Robotics (www.ieee-coro.org), an associate editor of Cognitive Systems Research, and a series editor of Springer's Cognitive Systems Monographs (COSMOS).

Current Main Research Interests

David Vernon's research in cognitive robotics focuses mainly on developmental cognitive architectures and intrinsic value systems that that drive growth and development. He is particularly interested in the use of joint episodic-procedural memory and the use of internal simulation to anticipate future events. He is currently investigating an information-theoretic model of self-organization to dynamically adapt the entropy of the memory system, maximizing developmental potential and enhancing system autonomy while at the same time maintaining a capacity to adapt to new stimuli. The immediate goal of the research is to develop a cognitive robot with autonomous endogenous visual attention that will allow it to anticipate events in the world in which it is embedded.

Five selected publications with particular relevance to the Research Group
  • Vernon, D., von Hofsten, C., & Fadiga, L. (2016). Desiderata for developmental cognitive architectures. Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures, 18, 116-127.
  • Vernon, D., Beetz, M., & Sandini, G. (2015). Prospection in cognition: the case for joint episodic-procedural memory in cognitive robotics. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 2, 19.
  • Vernon, D. (2014). Artificial Cognitive Systems — A Primer. MIT Press.
  • Vernon, D., Von Hofsten, C., & Fadiga, L. (2011). A Roadmap for Cognitive Development in Humanoid Robots. Cognitive Systems Monographs (COSMOS), Springer.
  • Vernon, D., Metta, G., & Sandini, G. (2007). A survey of artificial cognitive systems: Implications for the autonomous development of mental capabilities in computational agents. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 11, 151-180.