5th PLOW

5th PLOW Edition (Summer 2015) —— June 19, 2015

PLOW (which stands for the PoLyMORSE Open Workshop) is a series of workshops targeted at improving the technical and non-technical skills of grad students. Past editions have focused on how to present a scientific poster, how to do program transformation, how to analyze bad code smells, how to analyze load tests and how to automate a release engineering pipeline, and how to analyze your data. Each edition features a mix of lectures, labs and interactive discussions (e.g., a poster session).

The 5th PLOW edition will take place on June 19, 2015 at Polytechnique Montréal, as part of the AHS 2015 week.  The goal of this event is to introduce the participants to the challenges of programming robot swarms. The students will follow hands-on lectures and labs on self-organized coordination algorithms and development software tools for robot swarms. There will also be an invited talk on these subjects.

A competition (PLOW challenge) will be organized to engage the students and apply the concepts learnt. The competition will involve the implementation of a swarm algorithm (using ARGoS, a robotics simulator) to construct a linear wall in purely distributed fashion.

Registration is $50, which includes lunch and coffee breaks. For practical reasons, the maximumnumber of participants is limited to 50.

The event will be located in  room L4812, 4th floor of Pavillons Lassonde, MacKay-Lassonde .

For more information:

Tutor: Dr. Carlo Pinciroli

Carlo Pinciroli is a post-doctoral researcher at MIST, École Polytechnique de Montréal in Canada under the supervision of Prof. Giovanni Beltrame. The focus of my research is designing innovative tools for swarm robotics.  He has developed ARGoS, which is currently the fastest general-purpose robot simulator in literature. ARGoS is used by many laboratories across the world to perform accurate physics-based simulations of large-scale robots swarms. Carlo has also designed several swarm algorithms for task allocation, foraging, self-assembly, and pattern formation.


To get a head start for the challenge, please refer to this page for information on how to install and use the software that will be the base for the PLOW challenge.

Program Outline (June 19, 2015)

IMPORTANT: Students are supposed to be familiar with object oriented programming and basic statistical modeling, although sufficient background will be provided!

Additional information on the challenge and the tools needed for the workshop

9:00-9:15 Welcome message by PLOW organizers – Room: L4812.

9:15-10:30 Adaptive Deployment of Mobile Robotic Networks – Jerome Le Ny – Room: L4812.

10:30-11:00 Coffee break – Room: L4812.

11:00-12:30 Algorithms for Swarm Robotics – Carlo Pinciroli – Room: L4812.

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch – Ground floor of the Pavillon Lassonde.

14:00 – 15:30 Tools for Swarm Robotics – Carlo Pinciroli – Room: L4812.

15:30-16:00 Coffee break – Room: L4812.

16:00 – 17:30 Swarm Behaviour Design Challenge – Carlo Pinciroli – Room: L4812.

WIFI Connection

Polytechnique Montreal is part of the eduroam (education roaming) consortium; eduroam is the secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community. eduroam allows students, researchers and staff from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity across campus and when visiting other participating institutions by simply opening their laptop.

If you are a faculty member, student or have access to eduroam, please make sure you activate your eduroam account at your home institution, this will give access to WIFI at Polytechnique Montreal and thus to PLOW.

The Mission of the PoLyMORSE Open Workshop (PLOW) Program

The PoLyMORSE Open Workshop (PLOW ) program consists of a series of informal workshops organized by the PolyMORSE (Polytechnique Montréal Researchers in Software Engineering) research group. The gathering is informal and therefore does not have a call for papers. At this early stage, the workshop will usually take place every six months.

The PLOW events aim to bring together active researchers and practitioners in the area of software engineering to focus on discussion of on-going work and interaction, without the burden of having to prepare a polished paper. We create the program largely by invitation and then issue a call for participation. In order to bring in a fresh perspective, outstanding researchers from all over the world are invited to participate and present their original and significant work.

The educational and academic objectives for PLOW venues are:

  1. To provide researchers with a platform to discuss and collaborate on the state-of-the-practice, state-of-the-art, and future of software engineering;
  2. To provide postdoctoral fellows, PhD and Master’s students with opportunities to learn needed background, state-of-the-art techniques, and complementary “soft” skills to excel in the emerging and important sub-domain of software engineering.
  3. To increase the participation of the Quebec and Canadian industry in software engineering.

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