Murat Arcak

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Murat Arcak received the B.S. degree from the Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey (1996) and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1997 and 2000). His research is in dynamical systems and control theory with applications to synthetic biology, multi-agent systems, and transportation. Prior to joining Berkeley in 2008, he was a faculty member at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2003, the Donald P. Eckman Award from the American Automatic Control Council in 2006, the Control and Systems Theory Prize from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) in 2007, and the Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize from the IEEE Control Systems Society in 2014. He is a member of SIAM and a fellow of IEEE.

University of California, Berkeley
Distinguished Lecturer; L-CSS Senior Editor

Distinguished Lecture Program

Talk Title: Compositional certification of stability, performance, and safety for interconnected systems

A major problem for today’s large-scale networked systems is to certify the required stability, performance, and safety properties using analytical and computational models.  The existing methods for such certification are severely limited in their ability to cope with the number of physical components and the complexity of their interactions  We address this problem with a compositional approach that derives network-level guarantees from key structural properties of the subsystems and their interactions, rather than tackle the system model as a whole.  The foundational tool in our approach is the established dissipativity theory, enriched with modern computational techniques.  Dissipativity properties serve as abstractions of the detailed dynamical models of the subsystems and allow us to decompose intractably large certification problems into subproblems of manageable size. We leverage large-scale optimization techniques to detect useful dissipativity properties and exploit interconnection symmetries for further computational savings. Case studies demonstrate the applicability of the methods to biological networks, vehicle platoons, and Internet congestion control. 


Talk Title: Formal synthesis for traffic control

We present a formal methods approach to meet temporal logic specifications in traffic control. Formal methods is an area of computer science that develops efficient techniques for proving the correct operation of systems, such as computer programs and digital circuits, and for designing systems that are correct by construction.  We highlight key structural properties of traffic networks that make them amenable to this approach. The first structural property is “mixed monotonicity” which relaxes the classical notion of an order-preserving (“monotone”) system.  We discuss how this property allows a computationally efficient finite abstraction and illustrate the result on a macroscopic model of traffic flow in a road network.  The second structural property is decomposability into sparsely connected sub-networks. Using this property, we exhibit a compositional synthesis technique that introduces supply and demand contracts between the subsystems and ensures the soundness of the composite controller. 


Talk Title: Pattern formation and synchronization in biology

Breaking symmetry in spatially distributed networks is a fascinating dynamical systems problem and is of fundamental interest to developmental biology. We discuss two types of local interaction that underlie formation of gene expression patterns in multi-cellular organisms:  diffusion and cell-to-cell contact signaling.  We first present new insights on a diffusion-driven mechanism for pattern formation and propose a synthetic gene network built upon this mechanism.  We then discuss contact-mediated inhibition that is responsible for segmentation and fate-specification.  We introduce a dynamical model to represent this mechanism and reveal the key properties of the model that are necessary for pattern formation.  The results also yield new insights for the converse problem of maintaining spatial homogeneity, that is, synchrony.  We conclude the talk with a distinct biological problem where synchronization plays an important role:  the locomotion of swimming microorganisms.  Examples include the bundling of flagella and coordination of cilia. With large-scale numerical simulation results for low Reynolds number flows, we argue that synchronization can result from hydrodynamic interactions alone.