Skip to content Skip to navigation

Mykel Kochenderfer

Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and, by courtesy, of Computer Science

Bio
Mykel Kochenderfer is Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. Prior to joining the faculty, he was at MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he worked on airspace modeling and aircraft collision avoidance, with his early work leading to the establishment of the ACAS X program. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh and B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from Stanford University. Prof. Kochenderfer is the director of the Stanford Intelligent Systems Laboratory (SISL), conducting research on advanced algorithms and analytical methods for the design of robust decision making systems. Of particular interest are systems for air traffic control, unmanned aircraft, and other aerospace applications where decisions must be made in uncertain, dynamic environments while maintaining safety and efficiency. Research at SISL focuses on efficient computational methods for deriving optimal decision strategies from high-dimensional, probabilistic problem representations. He is the author of "Decision Making under Uncertainty: Theory and Application" from MIT Press. He is a third generation pilot.
Academic Appointments: 
Assistant Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics
Assistant Professor (By courtesy), Computer Science
Education: 
Ph.D., University of Edinburgh, Informatics (2006)
M.S., Stanford University, Computer Science (2003)
B.S., Stanford University, Computer Science (2003)
Academic and Contact Information
Alternate Contact: 
Administrator
Research & Scholarship
Projects: 
Building Trust in Autonomy: Research Experiences in Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh (6/15/2016 - 7/13/2016)
Title: 
Building Trust in Autonomy: Research Experiences in Edinburgh
Detail: 

Major advances in both hardware and software have accelerated the development of autonomous systems that have the potential to bring significant benefits to society. Google, Tesla, and a host of other companies are building autonomous vehicles that can improve safety and provide flexible mobility options for those who cannot drive themselves. On the aviation side, the past few years have seen the proliferation of unmanned aircraft that have the potential to deliver medicine and monitor agricultural crops autonomously. In the financial domain, a significant portion of stock trades are performed using automated trading algorithms at a frequency not possible by human traders. How do we build these systems that drive our cars, fly our planes, and invest our money? How do we develop trust in these systems? What is the societal impact on increased levels of autonomy? This Bing Overseas Studies Seminar exposes students to the fundamental concepts of autonomy and immerses the students in a collection of cutting-edge research laboratories at the University of Edinburgh, a major leader in computer science, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Edinburgh was also ground-zero of the industrial revolution with the invention of the steam engine by James Watt. The greater levels of automation enabled by this technology influenced nearly every aspect of daily life and had important consequences such as the replacement of human laborers with machines. As we embark in an era where human decision making is being replaced by the (potentially superior) judgment of computer algorithms, it is important to understand the broader impacts of this technology.

Instruction will come from lectures, guest lectures, student presentations, and individual research. Prior to Spring Quarter 2016, students will be matched to one of the research institutes within the School of Informatics, including: the Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation; the Institute for Computing Systems Architecture; the Institute for Language, Cognition, and Computation; the Institute of Perception, Action, and Behaviour; the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science; and the Center for Intelligent Systems and their Applications. During Spring Quarter at Stanford, the students will take a 1 unit course with Prof. Kochenderfer to prepare them for the research they will be undertaking at the University of Edinburgh.

The students will produce research papers and present their work to the group as well as to their respective laboratories. Student evaluation will be based on their paper and presentation as well as two written midterms.

Location

Edinburgh, Scotland

Teaching
Courses Taught: 
Academic Year: 
2016-17
Independent Study Courses: 
Advanced Reading and Research
CS 499 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Independent Project
CS 399 (Aut, Win, Spr)
Independent Project
CS 399P (Win)
Independent Study in Aero/Astro
AA 199 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Independent Work
CS 199 (Aut, Win, Spr)
Independent Work
CS 199P (Win, Spr)
Practical Training
AA 291 (Spr, Sum)
Problems in Aero/Astro
AA 290 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Senior Project
CS 191 (Aut, Win, Spr)
Academic Year: 
2015-16
Independent Study Courses: 
Independent Project
CS 399 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Independent Project
CS 399P (Win)
Independent Study in Aero/Astro
AA 199 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Independent Work
CS 199 (Aut, Win, Spr)
Independent Work
CS 199P (Win, Spr)
Practical Training
AA 291 (Spr, Sum)
Problems in Aero/Astro
AA 290 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Senior Project
CS 191 (Aut, Win)
Academic Year: 
2014-15
Independent Study Courses: 
Independent Study in Aero/Astro
AA 199 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Problems in Aero/Astro
AA 290 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Independent Study Courses: 
Advisees: 
Publications
Detection of hypervelocity impact radio frequency pulses through prior constrained source separation Radio Science Nuttall, A., Kochenderfer, M., Close, S. 2016; 51

View details for DOI 10.1002/2016RS006108

Multi-Rotor Aircraft Collision Avoidance using Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes AIAA Modeling and Simulation Conference Mueller, E., Kochenderfer, M. J. AIAA. 2016

View details for DOI 10.2514/6.2016-3673

Stochastic Video Prediction with Conditional Density Estimation Workshop on Action and Anticipation for Visual Learning Shu, R., Brofos, J., Zhang, F., Bui, H., Ghavamzadeh, M., Kochenderfer, M. 2016
Simulation Comparison of Collision Avoidance Algorithms for Small Multi-Rotor Aircraft AIAA Modeling and Simulation Conference Mueller, E., Kochenderfer, M. J. AIAA. 2016

View details for DOI 10.2514/6.2016-3674

Policy Compression for Aircraft Collision Avoidance Systems Digital Avionics Systems Conference Julian, K., Lopez, J., Brush, J. S., Owen, M., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2016
Analysis of Microscopic Behavior Models for Probabilistic Modeling of Driver Behavior IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Wheeler, T. A., Robbel, P., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2016
Factor Graph Scene Distributions for Automotive Safety Analysis IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Wheeler, T. A., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2016
Collision Avoidance for Unmanned Aircraft using Coordination Tables Digital Avionics Systems Conference Tompa, R. E., Wulfe, B., Owen, M., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2016
Customer Simulation for Direct Marketing Experiments IEEE International Conference on Data Science and Advanced Analytics Tkachenko, Y., Kochenderfer, M. J., Kluza, K. 2016
Optimized and Trusted Collision Avoidance for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles using Approximate Dynamic Programming IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation Sunberg, Z., Kochenderfer, M., Pavone, M. 2016
Dynamic Logic Selection for Unmanned Aircraft Separation Digital Avionics Systems Conference Owen, M. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2016
Markov Decision Process-Based Distributed Conflict Resolution for Drone Air Traffic Management Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Ong, H., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016

View details for DOI 10.2514/1.G001822

Learning Traffic Patterns at Small Airports from Flight Tracks IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems Mahboubi, Z., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016
Improving Aircraft Collision Risk Estimation Using the Cross-Entropy Method Journal of Air Transportation Kim, Y., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016; 24 (2): 55-61

View details for DOI 10.2514/1.D0020

Ground Delay Program Planning using Markov Decision Processes Journal of Aerospace Information Systems Cox, J., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016; 13 (3): 134-142

View details for DOI 10.2514/1.I010387

Decision-Theoretic Approach to Designing Cyber Resilient Systems IEEE International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications Mehta, V., Rowe, P., Lewis, G., Magalhaes, A., Kochenderfer, M. IEEE. 2016
Analysis of Recurrent Neural Networks for Probabilistic Modeling of Driver Behavior IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems Morton, J., Wheeler, T. A., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016
Target Surveillance in Adversarial Environments using POMDPs AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence Egorov, M., Kochenderfer, M. J., Uudmae, J. J. 2016
Exploiting Anonymity in Approximate Linear Programming: Scaling to Large Multiagent MDPs AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence Robbel, P., Oliehoek, F. A., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016
Probabilistic Airport Acceptance Rate Prediction AIAA Modeling and Simulation Conference Cox, J., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2016

View details for DOI 10.2514/6.2016-0165

Signal Source Localization using Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes AIAA Infotech@Aerospace Conference, Dressel, L., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2015
Initial Scene Configurations for Highway Traffic Propagation IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Wheeler, T. A., Robbel, P., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2015

View details for DOI 10.1109/ITSC.2015.55

Optimal Aircraft Rerouting During Commercial Space Launches Digital Avionics Systems Conference Tompa, R. E., Kochenderfer, M. J., Cole, R., Kuchar, J. K. IEEE. 2015
Continuous Time Autonomous Air Traffic Control for Non-Towered Airports IEEE Conference on Decision and Control Mahboubi, Z., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2015

View details for DOI 10.1109/CDC.2015.7402670

Autonomous Air Traffic Control for Non-Towered Airports Air Traffic Management Research and Development Seminar Mahboubi, Z., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2015
Optimizing a Collision-Avoidance System for Closely Spaced Parallel Operations Journal of Aerospace Information Systems Smith, K. A., Vela, A. E., Kochenderfer, M. J., Olson, W. A. 2015; 12 (10): 618-633

View details for DOI 10.2514/1.I010352

Bayesian Preference Elicitation for Multiobjective Engineering Design Optimization Journal of Aerospace Information Systems Lepird, J. R., Owen, M. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2015; 12 (10): 634-645

View details for DOI 10.2514/1.I010363

Stress Testing Collision Avoidance Systems using Monte Carlo Tree Search Digital Avionics Systems Conference Lee, R., Kochenderfer, M. J., Mengshoel, O. J., Brat, G. P., Owen, M. P. IEEE. 2015
Optimization Approaches to the Single Airport Ground Holding Problem Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Cox, J., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2015; 38 (12): 2399-2406

View details for DOI 10.2514/1.G001081

A Probabilistic Framework for Microscopic Traffic Propagation IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Wheeler, T. A., Robbel, P., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2015

View details for DOI 10.1109/ITSC.2015.52

Decision Making Under Uncertainty: Theory and Application Kochenderfer, M. J. MIT Press. 2015
Optimal Lost-Link Policies for Unmanned Aircraft Digital Avionics Systems Conference Kim, Y., Kochenderfer, M. J. IEEE. 2015
Control of Epidemics on Graphs IEEE Conference on Decision and Control Ho, C., Kochenderfer, M. J., Mehta, V., Caceres, R. S. IEEE. 2015

View details for DOI 10.1109/CDC.2015.7402874

Error Model Estimation for Airborne Beacon-Based Surveillance IET Radar, Sonar and Navigation Panken, A., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2014; 8 (6): 667-675
Vertical State Estimation for Aircraft Collision Avoidance with Quantized Measurements Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Asmar, D. M., Kochenderfer, M. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P. 2013; 35 (6): 1797-1802
Collision Avoidance System Optimization for Closely Spaced Parallel Operations through Surrogate Modeling AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference Smith, K., Kochenderfer, M. J., Olson, W., Vela, A. 2013
Decentralized Control of Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes IEEE Conference on Decision and Control Amato, C., Chowdhary, G., Geramifard, A., Ure, N. K., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2013
Fielding a Sense and Avoid Capability for Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Policy, Standards, Technology, and Safety Modeling Air Traffic Control Quarterly Cole, R., Kochenderfer, M. J., Weibel, R., Edwards, M., Griffith, J. D. 2013; 21 (1): 5-27
Traffic Alert Optimization for Airborne Collision Avoidance Systems AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference Puntin, B., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2013
Compression of Optimal Value Functions for Markov Decision Processes Data Compression Conference Kochenderfer, M. J., Monath, N. 2013
Optimizing the Next Generation Collision Avoidance System for Safe, Suitable, and Acceptable Operational Performance Air Traffic Management Research and Development Seminar Holland, J. E., Kochenderfer, M. J., Olson, W. A. 2013
Decomposition Methods for Optimized Collision Avoidance with Multiple Threats Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2012; 35 (2): 398-405
Predicting the Behavior of Interacting Humans by Fusing Data from Multiple Sources Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence Schlicht, E. J., Lee, R., Wolpert, D. H., Kochenderfer, M. J., Tracey, B. 2012
Next Generation Airborne Collision Avoidance System Lincoln Laboratory Journal Kochenderfer, M. J., Holland, J. E., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P. 2012; 19 (1): 17-33
Hazard Alerting Based on Probabilistic Models Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2012; 35 (2): 442-450
Collision Avoidance for General Aviation IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine Billingsley, T. B., Kochenderfer, M. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P. 2012; 27 (7): 4-12
A New Approach for Designing Safer Collision Avoidance Systems Air Traffic Control Quarterly Kochenderfer, M. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Weibel, R. E. 2012; 20 (1): 27-45
Partially-Controlled Markov Decision Processes for Collision Avoidance Systems International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence Kochenderfer, M. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P. 2011
Position Validation Strategies using Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference Kochenderfer, M. J., Shih, K. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Rose, C. E., Elder, T. R. 2011
Unmanned Aircraft Collision Avoidance using Continuous-State POMDPs Robotics: Science and Systems Bai, H., Hsu, D., Kochenderfer, M. J., Lee, W. S. 2011
Analysis of Open-loop and Closed-loop Planning for Aircraft Collision Avoidance IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2011
Accounting for State Uncertainty in Collision Avoidance Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2011; 34 (4): 951-960

View details for DOI 10.2514/1.53172

Collision Avoidance System Optimization with Probabilistic Pilot Response Models American Control Conference Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2011
Aircraft Collision Avoidance using Monte Carlo Real-Time Belief Space Search Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems Wolf, T. B., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2011; 64 (2): 277-298
Efficiently Estimating Ambient Near Mid-Air Collision Risk for Unmanned Aircraft AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference Maki, E., Weinert, A., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2010
On Estimating Mid-Air Collision Risk AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference Kochenderfer, M. J., Griffith, J. D., Olszta, J. E. 2010
A Decision-Theoretic Approach to Developing Robust Collision Avoidance Logic IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems Kochenderfer, M. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P. 2010
Collision Avoidance for Unmanned Aircraft using Markov Decision Processes AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference Temizer, S., Kochenderfer, M. J., Kaelbling, L. P., Lozano-Perez, T. 2010
Improved Monte Carlo Sampling for Conflict Probability Estimation AIAA Non-Deterministic Approaches Conference Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Kochenderfer, M. J., Williams, R. E. 2010
Airspace Encounter Models for Estimating Collision Risk Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Kochenderfer, M. J., Edwards, M., Espindle, L. P., Kuchar, J. K., Griffith, J. D. 2010; 33 (2): 487-499

View details for DOI 10.2514/1.44867

Robustness of Optimized Collision Avoidance Logic to Modeling Errors IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference Kochenderfer, M. J., Chryssanthacopoulos, J. P., Radecki, P. 2010
Classification of Primary Radar Tracks using Gaussian Mixture Models IET Radar, Sonar and Navigation Espindle, L. P., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2009; 3 (6): 559-568
Hazard Alerting using Line-of-Sight Rate AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference Kochenderfer, M. J., Griffith, J. D., Kuchar, J. K. 2008
A Comprehensive Aircraft Encounter Model of the National Airspace System Lincoln Laboratory Journal Kochenderfer, M. J., Espindle, L. P., Kuchar, J. K., Griffith, J. D. 2008; 17 (2): 41-53
Electro-Optical System Analysis for Sense and Avoid AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference Griffith, J. D., Kochenderfer, M. J., Kuchar, J. K. 2008
Adaptive Modeling and Planning for Reactive Agents AAAI National Conference on Artificial Intelligence Kochenderfer, M. J. 2005
Common Sense Data Acquisition for Indoor Mobile Robots AAAI National Conference on Artificial Intelligence Gupta, R., Kochenderfer, M. J. 2004
Evolving Hierarchical and Recursive Teleo-Reactive Programs through Genetic Programming European Conference on Genetic Programming Kochenderfer, M. J. Springer. 2003