An incremental clustering and associative learning architecture for intelligent robotics
Keysermann, Matthias Ulrich
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The ability to learn from the environment and memorise the acquired knowledge is essential for robots to become autonomous and versatile artificial companions. This thesis proposes a novel learning and memory architecture for robots, which performs associative learning and recall of sensory and actuator patterns. The approach avoids the inclusion of task-specific expert knowledge and can deal with any kind of multi-dimensional real-valued data, apart from being tolerant to noise and supporting incremental learning. The proposed architecture integrates two machine learning methods: a topology learning algorithm that performs incremental clustering, and an associative memory model that learns relationship information based on the co-occurrence of inputs. The evaluations of both the topology learning algorithm and the associative memory model involved the memorisation of high-dimensional visual data as well as the association of symbolic data, presented simultaneously and sequentially. Moreover, the document analyses the results of two experiments in which the entire architecture was evaluated regarding its associative and incremental learning capabilities. One experiment comprised an incremental learning task with visual patterns and text labels, which was performed both in a simulated scenario and with a real robot. In a second experiment a robot learned to recognise visual patterns in the form of road signs and associated them with di erent con gurations of its arm joints. The thesis also discusses several learning-related aspects of the architecture and highlights strengths and weaknesses of the proposed approach. The developed architecture and corresponding ndings contribute to the domains of machine learning and intelligent robotics.