Research

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Research Interests

My primary interest lies with the principle of memory-based cognition, particularly as applied to cognitive robotics. This principle states that cognition is the manipulation and utilisation of memory - the two cannot be dissociated. This has some very interesting implications for cognitive robotics and cognitive architecture implementations, and it is these that I am interested in investigating. For instance, it commits you to a common substrate for perception, action, cognition, learning (which may be regarded as the adaptation of memory), etc, and only really makes sense in the framework of constructivism (the process of development through experience-based construction of 'control' and 'knowledge' structures), through ongoing environmental interaction.

My current work is with the EU ALIZ-E project (coordinated by Prof. Tony Belpaeme), researching memory systems to support long-term human-robot interactions. I am attempting to incorporate aspects (wherever practicable) of the memory-based cognition principle to this work, resulting in a proposed departure from current models of memory for computational implementation. For example, it is leading to a far more active role for 'memory' than normally ascribed to it, being centrally involved in the coordination and generation of ongoing behaviour, rather than the memory system acting as a passive adjunct to the cognitive processing. Apart from the consequences for the use of memory, it also has profound implications for the nature of cognitive architecture, which I am also exploring. Furthermore, this work in human-robot interaction emphasises the point that the environment in which cognitive robotic systems interact is a social one.

In addition to this, I cultivate an interest in a wide range of biological cognition and cognitive robotic-related fields, including (and here is the compulsory non-exhaustive list of keywords for a page like this, in no particular order), morphological computation (particularly passive dynamic walkers), theories of embodiment (embodied cognition), motivation/value/emotion systems, cognitive development, sensorimotor coordination, grounding (including, but not limited to, symbol grounding) and (well, why not?) consciousness. That covers just about everything...

For a bit more detail on the research themes that I'm interested in, please see my Research Details page.


Journal Publications and Thesis

      2013:
  • P. Baxter, J. De Greeff, T. Belpaeme (2013), Cognitive Architecture for Human-Robot Interaction: Towards Behavioural Alignment, Journal of Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures, 6: 30-39 - paper - journal   
      2012: 
  • P. Baxter, J. De Greeff, R. Wood, T. Belpaeme (2012), Modelling Concept Prototype Competencies using a Developmental Memory Model, Paladyn Journal of Behavioural Robotics: Special Issue on Advances in Developmental Robotics, 3(4): 200-208 - paper - journal 
  • T. Belpaeme, P. Baxter, R. Read, R. Wood, H. Cuayáhuitl, B. Kiefer, S. Racioppa, I. Kruijff-Korbayová, G. Athanasopoulos, V. Enescu, R. Looije, M. Neerincx, Y. Demiris, R. Ros-Espinoza, A. Beck, L. Cañamero, A. Hiolle, M. Lewis, I. Baroni, M. Nalin, P. Cosi, G. Paci, F. Tesser, G. Sommavilla, R. Humbert (2012), Multimodal Child-Robot Interaction: Building Social Bonds, Journal of Human-Robot Interaction, 1(2): 33-53 - paper - journal 
  • R. Wood, P. Baxter, T. Belpaeme (2012), A Review of Long-Term Memory in Natural and Synthetic Systems, Adaptive Behavior, 20(2): 81-103 - paper - journal 
      2010:
  • P. Baxter (2010), Foundations of a Constructivist Memory-Based approach to Cognitive Robotics: synthesis of a theoretical framework and application case studies, PhD Thesis, University of Reading (U.K.) - abstract 

Conference and Workshop Publications

      2014:
  • I. Baroni, M. Nalin, P. Baxter, C. Pozzi, E. Oleari, A. Sanna, T. Belpaeme (in press), What a robotic companion could do for a diabetic child, 23rd IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RoMAN), Edinburgh, U.K., August 25-29 - paper - website  
  • P. Baxter, T. Belpaeme (2014), Pervasive Memory: the Future of Long-Term Social HRI Lies in the Past, 3rd Int. Symposium on New Frontiers in HRI at AISB 2014, London, U.K., April 3-4 - paper - website 
  • P. Baxter, J. Kennedy, A-L. Vollmer, J. de Greeff, T. Belpaeme (2014), Tracking Gaze over Time in HRI as a Proxy for Engagement and Attribution of Social Agency, 9th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Bielefeld, Germany, March 3-6 - paper - website 
  • J. Kennedy, P. Baxter, T. Belpaeme (2014), Children Comply with a Robot's Indirect Requests9th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Bielefeld, Germany, March 3-6 - paperwebsite 
  • J. de Greeff, O. Blanson-Henkemans, A. Fraaije, L. Solms, N. Wigdor, B. Bierman, J. Janssen, R. Looije, P. Baxter, M. Neerincx, T. Belpaeme (2014), Child-robot interaction in the wild: field testing activities of the ALIZ-E project9th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Bielefeld, Germany, March 3-6 - paper - website 
      2013:
  • P. Baxter, I. Baroni, M. Nalin, A. Sanna, T. Belpaeme (2013), Touchscreens as Mediators for Social Human-Robot Interactions: A Focus Group Evaluation involving Diabetic Children, Collaboration Meets Interactive Surfaces Workshop at ITS'2013, October 6th - paper - website 
  • P. Baxter, J. De Greeff, T. Belpaeme (2013), Do children behave differently with a social robot if with peers?, International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR 2013), Bristol, U.K., October 27-29, pp567-568 - paper - website  
  • T. Belpaeme, P. Baxter, J. De Greeff, J. Kennedy, R. Read, R. Looije, M. Neerincx, I. Baroni, M. Coti Zelati (2013), Child-Robot Interaction: Perspectives and ChallengesInternational Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR 2013), Bristol, U.K., October 27-29, pp452-459 - paper - website  
  • J. De Greeff, J. Janssen, R. Looije, T. Mioch, M. Neerincx, P. Baxter, T. Belpaeme (2013), Activity Switching in Child-Robot Interaction: a Hospital Case Study, International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR 2013), Bristol, U.K., October 27-29, pp585-586 - paper - website 
  • J. Kennedy, P. Baxter, T. Belpaeme (2013), Constraining Content in Mediated Unstructured Social Interactions: Studies in the Wild, 5th International Workshop on Affective Interaction in Naturalistic Environments (AFFINE'13) at ACII'13, Geneva, Switzerland, September 2nd - paper - website 
  • P. Baxter, R. Wood, I. Baroni, J. Kennedy, M. Nalin, T. Belpaeme (2013), Emergence of Turn-taking in Unstructured Child-Robot Interactions, 8th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Tokyo, Japan, March 3-6 - paper - website   
      2012:
  • P. Baxter, J. De Greeff, R. Wood, and T. Belpaeme (2012), "And what is a Seasnake?": Modelling the acquisition of concept prototypes in a developmental framework, Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics, San Diego, USA, November 7-9 - paper - website 
  • P. Baxter, H. Cuayahuitl, R. Wood, I. Kruijff-Korbayova, and T. Belpaeme (2012), Towards Augmenting Dialogue Strategy Management with Multimodal Sub-Symbolic Context, in KI 2012, Saarbruecken, Germany - paper - website 
  • J. De Greeff, P. Baxter, R. Wood, and T. Belpaeme (2012), From Penguins to Parakeets: a developmental approach to modelling conceptual prototypes, in Proceedings of the Post-Graduate Conference on Robotics and Development of Cognition, J. Szufnarowska (ed), Lausanne, Switzerland - paper - website  
  • P. Baxter, R. Wood, T. Belpaeme (2012), A Touchscreen-Based 'Sandtray' to Facilitate, Mediate and Contextualise Human-Robot Social Interaction, Proceedings of 7th ACM-IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (LBR), Boston, U.S.A., March 5-8 - paper - website 
      2011:
  • P. Baxter, R. Wood, A. Morse, T. Belpaeme (2011), Memory-Centred Architectures: perspectives on human-level cognitive competencies, Proceedings of the AAAI Fall Symposium 2011 on Advances in Cognitive Systems, Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A., November 4-6 - paper - website 
  • R. Ros Espinoza, M. Nalin, R. Wood, P. Baxter, R. Looije, Y. Demiris, T. Belpaeme, A. Giusti, C. Pozzi (2011), Child-Robot Interaction in the Wild: Advice to the Aspiring Experimenter, Proceedings of ICMI 2011, Alicante, Spain, November 14-18 - paper - website 
  • A. Morse, P. Baxter, T. Belpaeme, L. Smith, A. Cangelosi (2011), The Power of Words, Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, August 24-27 - paper - website 
  • P. Baxter, R. Wood, T. Belpaeme, M. Nalin (2011), On Memory Systems for Companion Robots: Implementation Methodologies and Legal Implications, Proceedings of the 2nd AISB Symposium on Human Memory for Artificial Agents, York, U.K., April 4-5 - paper - website 
  • P. Baxter, T. Belpaeme, L. Canamero, P. Cosi, Y. Demeris, V. Enescu, A. Hiolle, I. Kruijff-Korbayova, R. Looije, M. Nalin, M. Neerincx, G. Sommavilla, F. Tesser, R. Wood (2011), Long-term human-robot interaction with young users, Proceedings of the Workshop Robots with Children Practices for HumanRobot Symbiosis at the 6th ACM-IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Lausanne, Switzerland - paper - website (authors alphabetically listed)
      2010:
  • P. Baxter and W. Browne (2010), Memory as the substrate of cognition: a developmental cognitive robotics perspective, Epigenetic Robotics 10, Orenas Slott, Sweden, November 5-7 - paper website
  • R. Wood, P. Baxter, T. Belpaeme (2010), A developmental perspective on memory-centred cognition for social interactionEpigenetic Robotics 10, Orenas Slott, Sweden, November 5-7 - paperwebsite
      2009:
  • P. Baxter and W. Browne (2009), The role of internal value systems for a memory-based robotic architecture, Epigenetic Robotics 9, Venice, Italy, November 12-14 - paperwebsite
  • P. Baxter and W. Browne (2009), Memory-Based Cognitive Framework: a Low-Level Association Approach to Cognitive Architectures, European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL'09), Budapest, Hungary, September 14-16 - paperwebsite
  • P. Baxter and W. Browne (2009), Perspectives on Robotic Embodiment from a Developmental Cognitive Architecture, International Conference on Adaptive and Intelligent Systems (ICAIS'09), Klagenfurt, Austria, pp3-8 - paperwebsite
  • N. Benatar, O. Qadir, J. Owen, P. Baxter, M. Neal (2009), P-Controller as an Expert System for Manoeuvring Rudderless Sail BoatsUK Workshop on Computational Intelligence (UKCI'09), University of Nottingham, September 7-9 - paperwebsite 
      2008 and previous:
  • P. Baxter and W. Browne (2008), Towards a developmental memory-based and embodied cognitive architecture, Epigenetic Robotics 8, University of Sussex, U.K., July 30-31, pp137-138 - paperwebsite
  • A. McMahon, D. Scott, P. Baxter, W. Browne (2006), "An Autonomous Explore/Exploit Strategy", Proceedings of AISB'06, Bristol, UK, vol. 2, pp192-201 - paperwebsite

Talks and Posters
  • Invited Speaker: International Summer School on Social Human-Robot Interaction, August 29th, 2013, "Cognitive Architecture for Social Human-Robot Interaction" (slides available from summer school website)
  • Poster Presentation: CogSys 2012, February 22nd, 2012, "Social behaviour from prior experience: a memory-centred cognitive system for social human-robot interaction"
  • Invited Seminar Speaker: Birmingham University, February 20th, 2012, "Towards a distributed associative memory for cognitive systems
  • Internal Seminar Speaker: (to Plymouth University ABC Lab), October 21st, 2010, "Developmental Memory-Based Cognitive Robotics: an introduction and overview
  • Poster Presentation: Workshop on Synthetic Neuroethology, September 9-10, 2010, "Episodic Memory for Social Interaction"
  • Presentation of Research: International Summer Research Camp On Autonomous Intelligent Robots (AIR'09), June 23-30, "Memory-Based Developmental 'Cognition' as applied to Mobile Robots"
  • Paper Presentation: 1st School of Systems Engineering Research Conference, September 25th, 2008, "Memory-Based Embodied Cognition: Introduction to a computational architecture"
  • Poster Presentation: 5th European Neuro-IT and Neuroengineering School, Delmenhorst (Germany), July 15 – 20, 2007, "Development of a memory-based architecture for robotics and investigation of animal cognition"

Reports and Miscellaneous
  • Workshop Abstract: Cognitive Architectures for Human-Robot Interaction, Paul Baxter and Greg Trafton  (2014), Workshop at 9th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Bielefeld, Germany - abstract 
  • Video Abstract: The Chatbot Strikes Back, James Kennedy, Joachim de Greeff, Robin Read, Paul Baxter, Tony Belpaeme (2014), video submission at 9th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Bielefeld, Germany - abstract 
  • Technical Report: The role of Internal value systems for a developmental robotic architecturePaul Baxter and Will Browne (2009), Cybernetics Intelligence Research Group, University of Reading (U.K.) - report 
  • Internal Conference Paper: Memory-based Embodied Cognition: a Computational ArchitecturePaul Baxter and Will Browne (2008), presented at 1st School of Systems Engineering Conference, University of Reading (U.K.) - paper 
  • PhD Transfer Report: The use of Artificial Agents to explore Human Memory Control ProcessesPaul Baxter (2006), Cybernetics Intelligence Research Group, University of Reading (U.K.) - report 

Recognition and Awards
  • Best paper nomination - RoMAN 2014
  • Third best video award - HRI 2014 
  • Best short paper award nomination - HRI 2012
  • Paper on Memory chosen by the Adaptive Behavior journal as part of their showcase of quality and novelty
  • Research on Memory for Social Robots highlighted in the RCUK "Big Ideas for the Future" report (p74) - 2011
  • Student fellowship award - ECAL 2009
  • University of Reading Alumni Travel fund - 2007 and 2009
  • Travel grant award - AISB 2006

Academic Activities
  • PhD student supervision (Plymouth University): Magdalena Leshtanska (2nd supervisor, 2010-2013, withdrawn), James Kennedy (2nd supervisor, 2012-present).  
  • Masters student project ad-hoc supervision (Plymouth University, 2011-present).
  • Ad-hoc lecturing (Plymouth University, 2010-present).
  • Demonstration/Marking of Masters course lab work (Plymouth University, 2010-present), supervision of 3rd year MEng group project (University of Reading, 2008-2010), and 1st and 2nd year undergraduate lab experiments (Plymouth University, 2010-present; University of Reading, 2005-2009). 
  • Design and implementation of a first year undergraduate laboratory experiment for the School of Systems Engineering, University of Reading, introducing Braitenberg Vehicles in the simulation software Webots (by Cyberbotics) - in use from January 2009.
  • In the Autumn term 2009/2010 I lectured the "Further Cognitive Systems" element of the 3rd year "Machine Intelligence" module (code: CY3B9; other element of course taught by Prof. Kevin Warwick).

Professional Activities

Conferences and Workshops attended
  • Third International Symposium on New Frontiers of Human-Robot Interaction at AISB 2014, London (U.K.) - paper presentation, and discussion panellist 
  • International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) 2014, Bielefeld (Germany) - workshop organisation, and poster presentation 
  • International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR) 2013, Bristol (U.K.) - poster presentation 
  • EUCognitionIII members meeting, October 2013, Brighton (U.K.)
  • Collaboration Meets Interactive Surfaces Workshop at ITS'2013, St. Andrews (U.K.) - paper presentation 
  • International Conference on Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures (BICA) 2013, Kiev (Ukraine) - paper presentation  
  • International Summer School on Social Human-Robot Interaction 2013, Christ's College Cambridge (U.K.) - invited speaker and help with organisation 
  • International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) 2013, Tokyo (Japan) - poster presentation
  • Workshop on Dynamics of Conversational Engagement, 2012, Plymouth University (U.K.)
  • International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) 2012, Boston, MA (U.S.A.) - poster presentation + nomination for best short paper
  • EUCognitionIII Kick-off meeting, Vienna (Austria)
  • Cognitive Systems Conference 2012, Vienna (Austria) - poster presentation
  • Advances in Cognitive Systems (ACS) symposium at AAAI Fall Symposium 2011, Arlington, Virginia (U.S.A.) - poster presentation
  • AISB 2011, University of York (U.K.) - paper presentation 
  • Epigenetic Robotics 2010, Orenas Slott, Lund University (Sweden) - paper and poster presentation
  • Workshop on Synthetic Neuroethology, 2010, University of Sussex (U.K.) - poster presentation
  • Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems (TAROS) 2010, University of Plymouth (U.K.)
  • Epigenetic Robotics 2009, Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli, Venice (Italy) - poster presentation
  • International Conference on Adaptive and Intelligent Systems (ICAIS) 2009, University of Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt (Austria) - paper presentation
  • European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL) 2009, The Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest (Hungary) - paper presentation + travel grant award
  • International Summer Research Camp On Autonomous Intelligent Robots (AIR) 2009, University of Aberystwyth (U.K.) - presentation of research
  • Reading GRADschool 2009, residential skills course, Henley Business School, Henley-upon-Thames (U.K.)
  • Computation of Emotions in Man and Machines 2009, The Royal Society, London (U.K.)
  • AISB Symposium on the Turing Test 2008 (Co-occured with the Loebner Prize 2008 - preliminary phase judge), University of Reading (U.K.)
  • Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems (TAROS) 2008, University of Edinburgh (U.K.)
  • Epigenetic Robotics 2008, University of Sussex, Brighton (U.K.) - poster presentation
  • Dynamic Walking 2008, Delft (The Netherlands)
  • Cognition and Action Summer School 2007, Delmenhorst (Germany) - poster presentation and paper summary
  • Philosophy of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Biology (PPNB) 2007, University of Bristol, Bristol (U.K.)
  • Cognitive Robotics, Intelligence and Control (COGRIC) 2006, Windsor (U.K.) - involved with local organisation
  • AISB 2006, University of Bristol, Bristol (U.K.) - paper presentation + travel grant award

page last updated: 28/08/14