Ken Alton

Ken Alton

Software engineer at Google in Mountain View.
Former PhD student of Ian Mitchell in the Scientific Computing Laboratory in UBC Computer Science.
PhD, UBC, 2010. MSc, UBC, 2005. BSc, University of Calgary, 2000. Curriculum Vitae.
Email: kenalton (at) gmail (dot) com


Teaching

Summer 2008 Term 1: APSC 160.


Research

My research focuses on creating and evaluating computer algorithms for efficient path planning and control. Recently, I have been developing fast dynamic programming methods for solving static Hamilton-Jacobi partial differential equations with application to optimal control. Click on the images or links below for project descriptions and videos.

Optimal Robot Rendezvous Fast Marching for Optimal Control Policy Search for Vehicle Steering
Optimal Robot Rendezvous Fast Marching for Optimal Control Policy Search for Vehicle Steering



Publications and Presentations

Journal

"An Ordered Upwind Method with Precomputed Stencil and Monotone Node Acceptance for Solving Static Convex Hamilton-Jacobi Equations", Ken Alton and Ian M. Mitchell.
In revision for Journal of Scientific Computing.
Presentation at UBC SCAIM and SFU CSC seminars.

"Fast Marching Methods for Stationary Hamilton-Jacobi Equations with Axis-Aligned Anisotropy", Ken Alton and Ian M. Mitchell.
SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp. 363-385 (2008).
Related technical reports: August 2008, January 2007.

Conference

"Efficient Dynamic Programming for Optimal Multi-Location Robot Rendezvous", Ken Alton and Ian M. Mitchell.
Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, pp. 2794-2799 (December 2008).
Conference presentation. Related technical reports: August 2008, October 2007. Video.

"Optimal Path Planning under Different Norms in Continuous State Spaces", Ken Alton and Ian M. Mitchell.
Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 866-872 (May 2006).
Conference presentation. Videos.

"Learning to Steer on Winding Tracks Using Semi-Parametric Control Policies", Ken Alton and Michiel van de Panne.
Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 4588-4593 (April 2005).
Conference presentation. Videos.

Theses

Shaping and Policy Search for Nearest-Neighbour Control Policies with Applications to Vehicle Steering, Ken Alton.
UBC Computer Science Graduate Thesis Archive (May 2005, MSc).

Dijkstra-like Ordered Upwind Methods for Solving Static Hamilton-Jacobi Equations, Ken Alton.
UBC Circle Information Repository (May 2010, PhD).
Defense presentation.